A box of juicy raspberries reaches its sell-by date, and off the grocery store shelves it goes—right into the trash. The same is true for all perishable products that linger a bit too long: They’re marked as waste and discarded. And yet, just as those raspberries are being tossed aside, members of our community go hungry for lack of nutritious food.
The equation seems simple; the solution obvious. And to Caleb Phillips, Hana Dansky, and Becky Higbee it was: Last August, the three co-founded Boulder Food Rescue a nonprofit which redistributes food “waste” to those in need. BFR, as it’s called, effectively works to both eliminate hunger and wasted food.
BFR rescues perishable food, past its sell-by date, from local donors (grocery stores, bakeries) and immediately delivers it to organizations feeding those in need. In efforts to be truly sustainable, transport is done by bike. BFR bins, filled by donors, are picked up daily by volunteers, loaded into a bike trailer and immediately delivered to the recipient. To date, the group has rescued more than 180,000 pounds of food with the help of 122 volunteers and 19 donors. The straightforward model has expanded into other cities, including Denver, sparking food rescue programs nation-wide.
Rescued food includes a wide array of gourmet goods that would make any mouth water. Volunteer Nora Leccese (pictured) peddles 125 pounds of it from Boulder’s Ideal Market to the Family Learning Center. The single trailer holds house-made hummus, large hunks of pecorino cheese, bagels, beautifully decorated cakes, organic mushrooms, and perfectly ripe nectarines.
Get Involved: BFR is always in need of bike-riding volunteers. Email email@example.com to learn more or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved in Denver. Attend BFR’s fundraiser on October 21 at Twisted Pine Brewery and raise a glass to the nonprofit. (Funds raised will aid Boulder and Denver alike). Or, simply donate online: $50 funds the construction of a bike trailer, $35 funds a large food transport bin, and $12 funds a small bin.
THIS STORY WAS PART OF 5280’s 20 DAYS OF GIVEAWAYS!