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When it Comes to Food in CT, Waste Not

August 3, 2011

HARTFORD, Conn. - Thousands of pounds of food are thrown away by stores across the region each week, but Foodshare is hoping a new program will get more of that food into the hands of the hungry.

The Volunteer Retail Food Pick-Up Program is designed to connect volunteers who can spare a few hours a week with stores and smaller community organizations that feed the hungry. Ernie Pitti, Foodshare food donations manager, says the food that's being thrown away now can be put to good use.

"It's great for them to realize that there's an opportunity to take this unsalable merchandise that's perfectly fine, it's nutritious, to now donate and recover it."

Enough food to make 3,800 meals is being tossed each week, Pitti says. The volunteers are a vital link in getting food from the smaller stores that are not on the regular pickup routes served by Foodshare trucks, he says.

Pitti says the pick-up program already has been successful for the three entities that make it work.

"We started this looking for the ideal marriage of a retailer with a volunteer with an agency, and it worked out rather well."

By donating just a few hours each week, Pitti says, a Food Pick-Up volunteer can make a significant difference.

For more information, contact Amanda L. Renna at Foodshare, 860-286-9999, or go to foodshare.org.

Glen Gardner, Public News Service - CT