Spectrum News 1 highlighted the collaborative work of Seven Valleys Health Coalition, SOFSA’s Onondaga Food Rescue Network (OFRN) pilot project, and local pantry partners. Modeled off of Seven Valley Health Coalition’s successful food rescue project, OFRN seeks to capture smaller amounts of food to complement existing Food Bank efforts. In Onondaga County, where approximately 1 in 10 people are food insecure, the emergency food network is seeing increased levels of usage since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The article emphasized the importance of building relationships with local farms, farmers markets, and particularly restaurants in the effort to reduce food waste. Despite hurdles related to misinformation and the labor needed for food rescues, there is a growing interest from pantries willing to receive rescued products. Emergency food organizations, like the Interfaith Community Co-op in Syracuse, distribute rescued food and highlight challenges in storing prepared food, especially items requiring refrigeration. The need for volunteers, misinformation about food safety, and logistical issues that the emergency food system faces underscore the complexity in establishing an effective food rescue network and the need for continued collaboration.
Read more in the Spectrum News 1 article.
“There’s a great need in the community and there is a great amount of food going to waste, so I think the big piece there is the labor and volunteer pool and getting folks engaged in moving our product”– Alexander Warshal, SOFSA Food System Project Coordinator