Pooling community resources to fight hunger, 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.
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 through the BPNN food pantry, neighboring food pantries, and our Saturday community meal. These donations are coordinated through our kitchen manager. This saves donors warehouse 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. Food insecure households lack consistent access to adequate food. Through the Kitchen to Table initiative, packaged surplus prepared food will be 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 will be 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 company 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