Many grocery stores are delighted to donate their surplus of unsold perishables from their bakeries, butcher departments and produce aisles, but without the help of volunteers, playfully referred to as “Food Rescuers”, this priceless food will not make it to the plate.
Everyday, Our Daily Bread plates nearly 100 casseroles generously prepared, donated and served by a network of faith-based groups, companies, schools and individuals. These casseroles provide daily sustenance to an average of 700 guests each day, but the meal would not be complete without the additional daily offering of bread, a dessert, and fruits and vegetables.
Rather than see the food go to waste, many independent and chain grocery stores are delighted to donate their surplus of unsold perishables from their bakeries and produce aisles, but the stores are unable to deliver the items directly to Our Daily Bread. With limited vehicles and staff-power, Our Daily Bread cannot make a daily or even weekly visit to every store willing to make a donation without the help of volunteers. These “Food Rescuers” are the connectors who bring this bounty of donated food and additional staples of the meal to the plate.
Volunteers like Bill Baird, Jr. and his wife, Joanna, have become an integral part of the food rescue process. Seven days a week you, will find one or both of them driving to a nearby grocery store, being greeted by enthusiastic store staff and appearing at the back door of Our Daily Bread with their car brimming with donations. Food that was days away from being wasted is pardoned to become the next meal’s priceless treat thanks to their intervention.
“My favorite part of the experience is when I pull up at the store,” Bill says. “The enthusiasm of the staff at each store is amazing. They see me coming and they roll out their big cart with the day’s donations and help me load my car. It helps them feel like they are a part of something.” One staff person even asked Bill if he could come with him to see where the donations were going and Bill happily brought him to Our Daily Bread for a tour of the dining room and kitchen.
This behind the scenes volunteer opportunity is essential to Our Daily Bread’s ability to bring a hot nutritious mid-day meal to those experiencing hunger. If you would like to come to the rescue and visit your local grocery stores to pick up food donations, please contact the volunteer office at 443-986-9031 or [email protected]