An organization combatting food insecurity with an app is looking to serve more people in and around Reston
Food Rescue US uses an app to target local sites around the country, including Victorville, Calif.; Miami, Fla.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and New Haven, Conn.
Here’s how the app works — restaurants, grocers and food providers can list surplus food for donation. Then, volunteers follow directions in the app for picking up and dropping off the food to receiving agencies like food pantries and community kitchens, which indicate in the app what they need.
Kate Urbank, the D.C. site director for Food Rescue, told Reston Now that the D.C.-area community started in October 2016. Since then, the efforts have helped redistribute nearly one million pounds of food. “We get hundreds of pounds a day,” Urbank said, adding that donors include Capital One and Boeing.
Last year, Food Rescue started bringing food to the Embry Rucker Community Shelter from mortgage giant Freddie Mac, which has food prepared by FLIK Hospitality.
The Reston nonprofit Cornerstones (11150 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 210), which provides support for people in need of food, shelter, affordable housing and other services, helps to operate the shelter at 11975 Bowman Towne Drive.
Volunteers pick up food five days a week from Freddie Mac and then drop off at the shelter twice a week. As the site director, Urbank operates the app, determining the type of food, amount and proximity for volunteers to take to receiving locations.
The app has had the “hottest growth” in Northern Virginia, which currently has 50 active volunteers with five from Reston and two from Herndon, Urbank said.
“I’m very open to branching off the Northern Virginia piece,” Urbank said. “It’s so ripe.”
Urbank said that she met with Food for Others, an organization in Fairfax that helps distribute food., as she looks to expand the efforts in Northern Virginia. Last week, she hired a woman in Tysons who will help with community outreach in the area.
Ultimately, Food Rescue US aims to reach all 50 states, Urbank said.
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