In Our Surplus Food Economy, Millions Can’t Afford to Buy Good Food
While one quarter to one third of all food produced is “wasted” between distribution, retailing, and consumption, supermarket “shrinkage” or loss calculated for non-salable perishable products is 8-10%. When you consider produce alone, the total is much higher.
Supermarkets and superstores are cooperating to get some of that surplus food into the hands of the people who need it.
vetFood is a food ministry program that offers surplus groceries to veteran families on a weekly basis in exchange for a small love offering, and/or volunteer labor. Our team gathers what the stores normally would throw away, due to inventory constraints, damaged packaging, mis-labeling, expiration dates, and the list goes on. What that means to our veteran community is life-sustaining, nutritious food at a fraction of the retail cost. Although the quantity and variety of products differ from week to week there is ample food to feed a family size between 4-6 very easily. We’re not talking table scraps here! We’re talking quality meats, dairy, fruits, vegetables, grains, canned goods, staples, and even sundries.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Based upon your family size and need we will prepare a box for you of the more limited items like meats and dairy, then we allow you to shop for limited quantities of the remaining more abundant items like fruits and vegetables in our convenient storehouse. We request a suggested donation of $50 per family to offset operations costs and keep the ministry alive. Or, Volunteer as part of the Ministry Team to make the rounds in our refrigerated van to our store partners on a daily basis, or work in our storehouse stocking shelves and preparing food packages to earn your weekly allotment for FREE.
In the San Francisco Bay Area we are partnering with an existing ministry to provide food to our veteran community. As the need grows, we will expand the ministry to serve more veteran families. Contact us to find out more about opportunities in the Bay Area. In the Sacramento area we are working on the storehouse prototype in Cameron Park that we intend to use as a model to duplicate in Pathways cities nationwide.
Can I really feed my family quality food for around $50/week?
Just ask Glenn Gschmeidler, Director of vetFood and five year veteran of the Bay Area outreach program, “Yes, it’s true! We have been feeding our family of six over the past five years with most of the same items we would normally buy at the grocery store. In fact, we have experimented with many food items we would likely never have tried and pleasantly discovered delicious and nutritious alternatives to our meal menus. We actually receive more food than we can even eat, and have resorted to blessing other family members with our surplus! I bet not many can boast about that after dropping $200 for a bag of groceries. The whole family enjoys a variety of fruits and vegetables incorporated into every meal. We’re eating healthier now than we ever have and are excited to share this ministry with others.”