Did You Know?
Pooling community resources to fight hunger, the Badger Prairie Needs Network's work with the Kitchen to Table initiative reduces waste by distributing surplus prepared food to meal sites and pantries throughout southern Wisconsin in partnership with the Community Action Coalition, Second Harvest Foodbank, Feeding Wisconsin, Dane County, Epic, UW Health, CUNA Mutual Group and The Compass Group.
You Can Help:
Are you a commercial food services organization interested in donating surplus prepared food through Kitchen to Table?
To learn more about how a new food donor can get involved, please contact either BPNN or CAC by email or call (608)848-2499 and ask for Marcia.
How Does Food Recovery Work? Who Can Donate?
Licensed restaurants, caterers, corporate dining rooms, hotels, and other food establishments can donate prepared foods and meal ingredients to us. Bulk packaged prepared foods are repackaged in our Prairie Kitchen and distributed to food pantries throughout southern Wisconsin. These donations are coordinated through our kitchen manager. Participating in food recovery programs like ours not only feeds many hungry people and reduces landfill use, it also saves food donors storage and disposal costs.
*Large manufacturers, supermarket chains, wholesalers, farmers, food brokers, and organized community food drives can donate unexpired and unopened packaged foods and fresh produce directly to the BPNN food pantry. These donations are picked up by volunteers or delivered to us in coordination with our pantry inventory coordinator or food drive coordinator.
Where Does Recovered Food Go?
Recovered food helps food insecure households throughout southern Wisconsin. These households lack consistent access to adequate food. Through the Kitchen to Table initiative, packaged surplus prepared food is shared through the Community Action Coalition and Second Harvest distribution networks as well as directly from BPNN. Food that cannot be distributed quickly enough to food pantries or meal sites is donated to local farmers for livestock feed or used as compost.
What Are the Regulations for Handling Food?
Corporate donors are protected from liability under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (PDF). Under this Act, as long as the donor has not acted with negligence or intentional misconduct, the donor is not liable for damage incurred as the result of illness. Learn more from Food Recovery – a legal guide. Each donor must follow strict food-handling standards to ensure the food we distribute is safe and of the best possible quality. Learn more about Food Safety Basics (PDF).
- Avoiding cross-contamination
- Minimizing hand contact
- Properly labeling and dating items
- Avoiding thaw/refreeze prior to donation
- Packaging in shallow containers and transferring directly to a refrigerator or freezer for safe and rapid cooling
- Maintaining safe temperatures for safe food storage until we can transport to BPNN.