NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Every week, food gets delivered and donated to the Dr. Reginald Mayo Early Learning Center in New Haven.
“They’ll park their car there, get their bags, and come and shop,” said Hyclis Williams, a family social worker.
Families get produce, pastries and sometimes even flowers.
“They say, ‘Thank you so much,'” Williams said. “It makes a big difference for me, because some of the things are what people wouldn’t normally afford at the supermarket.”
It’s all thanks to Haven’s Harvest, an organization committed to reducing food waste.
“As a nation, we waste about 40% of the food we produce,” said Lori Martin, the executive director of Haven’s Harvest.
Here’s how it works: Haven’s Harvest’s partners, which could be a university, restaurant or grocery store, donate perfectly good food that might otherwise be tossed away. It’s then connected with one of the many receiving sites.
“Wherever there’s a large body of people who can absorb that food, we send the food there,” said Lorrice Grant, director of operations at Haven’s Harvest.
Martin and Grant use the app Food Rescue Hero to communicate with their volunteers.
“We enter all the information they need to know: where to pick up the food, where to drop off the food, who’s their contact person, their movement, so we can make sure the food stays safe — all in the app,” Grant said.
The group has 400 volunteers and counting, helping New Haven and beyond. Last year, it recovered 1.5 million pounds of food. The group hopes that number will only climb year after year.