The Food Bank finds new way to reduce food waste
COLUMBIA - The Food Bank for Central and Northeast Missouri are trying a cool new way to help the community.
It's showing off a new refrigerated trailer, which will help store 15,000 to 30,000 pounds of food like dairy, fruits, vegetables, and other non-perishable items.
Executive director Lindsay Lopez said the food bank received the trailer through help of the Missouri Solid Waste Management District and the Department of Natural Resources.
Lopez said the food bank and the food pantry desperately needed the refrigerated trailer.
“Here at the food bank, we have cooler space that is often times completely maxed out. At the Central Food Pantry their cooler is small and often times is very full,” Lopez said.
Janese Heavin, the communications coordinator for the Food Bank, said the new refrigerator trailer does more than just keep food cool; it also helps stop the waste of food.
“We are anticipating we will be able to keep up to about 100,000 pounds of fresh food out of the landfill and instead on families tables in mid-Missouri, so we are really excited about that,” said Heavin.
She said the refrigerated trailer will be most beneficial in the upcoming months.
“They’re going to see more produce especially during the summer months when gardens are going strong, we are getting a lot of donations from farmers around the area. We will have the capacity to store that food,” Heavin.
The manager of Central Food Pantry, Sean Ross, said he is excited for the pantry to start utilizing the refrigerated pantry.
“Well it's more than doubled our storage capacity, so it makes us feel really good,” he said. “We’re looking forward to this challenge it will present us to keep all this food moving,” Ross said
He said he thinks the refrigerated trailer will help people live a healthier lifestyle.
“We’re trying to get people to eat healthier, so this will help encourage them because we can offer a larger variety of produce to them,” Ross said.
Heavin said she believes the refrigerated trailer is the start to something bigger for the community.
“So I just think we are on a roll, we are doing so much to overcome obstacles that prevented the food banks in the past from sharing healthier food and we are so appreciative of the community to make that possible,” Heavin said.