Most people are aware of the Bread of Life food pantry, but that is only a small part of what we do. The vast majority of what we do is called “Food Rescue.” Over 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States every year. This waste goes into our landfills. Food rescue is the collection of high-quality food that would otherwise go to waste and distributing it to people facing hunger. The Bread of Life works with local businesses to reduce food waste and get rescued food to people in need.
Every morning seven days a week, Pastor Pasquale heads out at 6 a.m. to begin his day rescuing food from the local grocery stores. The Bread of Life van picks up hundreds of pounds of food from over 10 locations daily. This food is then delivered to our over 20 partner organizations, completely free of charge. The Bread of Life began with a donated bag of bagels from a local bagel shop which we delivered to a local homeless shelter.. The rest, as they say, is history.
Here is a snapshot of the food rescue experience from one of our volunteers:
“Authorized Personnel Only” loomed ominously over our heads as we made our way through the throng made up of drivers waiting to empty their trucks and workers on cigarette breaks. I felt like a trespasser as we walked through the backdoor of the grocery store navigating through the meandering aisles to finally arrive at a room filled with pallets of edible fruits and vegetables labelled as “waste.”
We loaded what seemed like a mountain of food into the truck and delivered it to a local homeless shelter. We were met with an outpouring of gratitude and even some tears as men appeared from every corner of the shelter to see what “treasures” we had brought them. In the span of a few hours and a few miles, what had once been declared garbage had suddenly become cause for celebration.