October 23, 2018

Fresh Produce Drop For Food Banks Expand In Indiana

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Some of the fresh produce recently saved in Indiana.  - (Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

Some of the fresh produce recently saved in Indiana.

(Jill Sheridan/IPB News)

A project to prevent fresh, healthy food from being wasted is expanding statewide. Food Drop builds off the success of an Indianapolis-based pilot.

Indy Food Drop was able to save more than 86,000 pounds of produce from being dumped – by connecting truck drivers, food and food banks.

Indiana Motor Truck Association Vice President Barb Hunt says she did an informal survey to see what truck drivers do when they have a load of fresh food that’s been rejected.

"Not one driver mentioned the first thing I will do is take it to dump, they will always try to take it to a food bank," says Hunt. 

READ MORE: Purdue Project Connects Farmers, Food Pantries For Produce

Food Drop connects drivers to local food agencies that will accept the produce 24-7. Midwest Food Bank executive director John Whitaker says the program addresses several problems.

"The simple, common sense approach to the complicated challenge of eliminating waste and providing healthy, nutritious food at no cost to Hoosiers struggling," says Whitaker. 

Gleaners Food Bank President John Elliot says it takes collaborative, innovative programs like Food Drop to close the gap on hunger and healthy food access. 

"Whatever it takes, whatever combination of programs it takes," says Elliot.  "We have to stop wasting food and start feeding the 1 million Hoosiers who are hungry."

An estimated 1 million Hoosiers struggle with food insecurity.

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