A new website is encouraging truck drivers to bring rejected food that is still edible to Indiana charities.
IndyFoodDrop.org is designed to help the trucking industry redirect any food rejected by local grocers and distributors from the landfills and into the hands of people in need. Midwest Food Bank, Gleaners Food Bank, Second Helpings and St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry teamed with the Indiana Motor Truck Association on this initiative.
“We know there are times when food is rejected by the food distribution channel due to improper food temperature of the truck, shifted or damaged boxes during transport, or bruising and browning produce, yet it is still edible and nutritious,” said John Whitaker, executive director of Midwest Food Bank in Indianapolis. “When that happens it’s easier to head to the Dumpster, throw away the food and get back on the road. Our goal is to mobilize the resources within the four partnering organizations to quickly and efficiently transfer food that may have otherwise been thrown away into the food recovery system.”
IndyFoodDrop.org provides drivers with access and information on where they can bring the food. Drivers will receive help unloading the truck and a tax-deductible receipt.
“This group is working together as a network,” said Barb Hunt, vice president of the Indiana Motor Truck Association. “If a driver has a rejected load, they can go on to the website and then they can see what all of their options are. These groups will work together on how to distribute the food from there. We are giving the drivers the option to dispose of the food quickly. ... A driver’s time is money, so we’re just happy to feed the hungry and keep drivers moving.”
Dry, frozen and refrigerated foods are all acceptable. However, product seals must not be broken, and ingredients and dating must be listed on the food products.