Updated: Jul 18
“It’s just too easy to throw away food,” shares Julie Shifman, Executive Director of Last Mile Food Rescue.
Last Mile Food Rescue is a Greater Cincinnati food rescue organization on a mission to save good food and get it to those who need it most. They provide logistics solutions for the millions of pounds of fresh wholesome food that would be thrown away because it just can’t get the last mile to the people who need it.
Julie first heard about food rescue from her sister in Atlanta, “She was doing a rescue at the Brave’s stadium, and I thought- we’re a generous community, people care, we can do this!” Julie began investigating local food recovery efforts and was introduced to Kurt Reiber at the Freestore Foodbank who introduced her to Tom Fernandez. Together Julie and Tom created Last Mile Food Rescue.
“We have the food, but people are food insecure- we just need to make the connection!” Julie continues. “Our goal is to rescue 5 million pounds a year by the end of 2025.”
Last Mile Food Rescue’s goal isn’t hampered by technology or volunteers, the challenge is convincing potential donors that it’s worth their time to sort, pack, and prepare surplus goods so that Last Mile Food Rescue can pick up and redistribute to a pantry or food access point.
Julie reminds us “when a manager cares, they make the effort - they help the community. We need to convince food donors to take the extra step to help feed their community.”
The EPA estimates that 63.1 million tons of food waste was generated in 2018, and only 7.6% of wasted food was donated. With more than 34 million Americans facing food insecurity, more food recovery is essential to help close the hunger gap.
If you’d like to get involved, serve as a food rescue hero! Last Mile’s app-based platform allows volunteers to fit service into their busy schedules. An hour and a form of transportation are all it takes to recover a meal this morning that will feed a family tonight!
Recovered Radish Green Pesto
2 cups radish greens
2 cloves garlic
1 cup crushed almonds
1 cup parmesan cheese
½ tsp. salt
3/4 cup olive oil
Juice from ½ a medium lemon
Cut radish greens off the radishes and wash them.
Add all the ingredients to the blender.
Blend until smooth.
Serve with tortilla chips or on pasta.