Loaves & Fishes partnered with the Minneapolis.St Paul Magazine along with Chef Justin Sutherland and food & dining editor Steph March for the Smoke Out at Allianz Field to ensure it was a zero-food waste event.
“This is going to be one of those great autumn events that you remember all winter. We are so excited that the food won’t go to waste, thanks to the amazing crew at Loaves & Fishes handling the food rescue efforts,” March said prior to the event. “It’s important to us to strive for zero food waste so that we can spread the impact of this day beyond the event.”
Loaves & Fishes rescued food from 17 restaurants and food booths in the latest efforts of a record-breaking year for the organization. Through August the nonprofit has rescued nearly 5.5 million pounds of food and is on pace to rescue over 8 million pounds of food in 2021. This comes after a 2020 that saw a record high 7.5 million pounds of food rescued.
“We were thankful to be part of the Minneapolis.St. Paul Magazine Smoke Out for the first time,” Associate Executive Director Kiley Benson said. “We always look for new sources and partners to rescue food. It allows our organization to make a great impact around food waste and helps us to serve more meals to our guests.”
Loaves & Fishes uses rescued food creatively throughout meal programming which has enabled the ability to serve a record high 4.4 million meals in 2020 and has the organization in place to serve over another 4 million meals in 2021.
Wasted food is food available for human consumption but not consumed. According to the USDA, it is the single largest component going into municipal landfills, estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States. It generates carbon dioxide and methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. According to the McKnight Foundation, the Midwest is the sixth largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.