Food Runners

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Saturday Morning Special

by Adam Teitelbaum, Volunteer
Trader Joe's Masonic Run on Saturdays

Donations stacked and waiting at Trader Joe's Masonic
A few years ago I was doing a story for KALW radio on San Francisco’s goal of Zero Waste by 2020. I discovered that one of the largest waste categories was food waste. It turns out that 40% of all food produced in the US is wasted. I had no idea.

I interviewed Mary Risley, founder of Food Runners for that story. She pointed out that a lot of that wasted food was edible and should be donated instead of diverted to the compost bin. “Keeping food out of the compost and donating it to feed hungry people is way more better than turning it into dirt.”

Shortly after that story aired, I started volunteering for Food Runners. At first I filled in on small runs, collecting donations from a small grocery in West Portal and delivering  to a women’s safe house in the Sunset District. Eventually I started my Sunday morning pickups from Trader Joe’s on Masonic and Geary and delivering to the Haight Ashbury Food Program.

Carmen preparing the donations.
That Trader Joe’s location has been donating to Food Runners for 19 years. TJ’s donates everything from cases of blueberries and raspberries to leg of lamb and kosher brisket. They also donate a lot of fresh fruits, eggs and vegetables as well as bread and cakes. Especially useful to folks that live on the streets are the wide variety packaged ready-made salads. Carmen at Trader Joe’s gets the donation ready for me every week and sorts them into cases to make it easy for me to fill my van to the brim.

Unloading Adam's van at Haight Ashbury Food Program
I can honestly say that my food run is definitely a highlight of my week. Needless to say, I feel major gratitude and joy in knowing that I can help out my community in such a needed way. THANK YOU FOOD RUNNERS!!!

If you are looking to volunteer in your community I strongly encourage you to contact Nancy at Food Runners. You will be richly rewarded.