Fooding Forward is linking with local restaurants to eliminate waste, feed the needy

As we count down to the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, today we are tackling food waste.

During this crisis, we are seeing more people in need and more food at risk of getting thrown out.

A local group is bridging the gap.

Restaurants are suffering, food is stockpiling and more people are in need.

We checked in with Fooding Forward, a local organization working harder than ever to save that good food, get it to those who need it and help our restaurants stay afloat as we get through this crisis together.

"It really is a time to act," says founder Abbe Stern.

Way before this pandemic, she started Fooding Forward to create a link between eateries with excess food and organizations that feed hungry people.

When restaurants were forced to close their dining rooms, the food to be rescued was abundant.

"Crates of dairy, crates of prepared food," she says, all ready to be picked up. "We went to Parc and I think we got 100 pounds of french fries. We really did capture a majority of the food that would have gone to waste."

Stern works with other Philly-based organizations like Food Connect and Sharing Excess.

The question now: Can some of these restaurants re-open as commissary kitchens to make meals for frontline workers and save jobs.

"Who can we get back in the door? Who can we get back working? And who can get paid for it?"

They're also working closely with local farms to save, and serve, a recent influx in excess food before it goes bad.

For consumers, helping reduce food waste is as simple as ordering produce that would otherwise end up in landfills.

Abhi Ramesh started the Philly-based Misfit Markets, which compiles boxes of organic food that's perfectly good to eat, but considered un-sellable by many supermarkets.

Imperfect Foods and Hungry Harvest also sell imperfect produce at a discount.

Stern says there are many ways we can all help in this critical time.

"Do you have a car? Can you act as a transportation person bringing food from one location to the next? Do you have containers we can utilize for these takeout meals? Any kind of resource you have is needed," she says.
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