What happens to donated perishable food?
The food bank receives hundreds of pounds of donated food every week. When those donations include perishable items like produce, meat or bread, we have to move quickly to make sure it reaches the people we serve while it is still fresh. Our Warehouse Supervisor, Robert Brister, is always impressed with the food donated by Walmart and Sam's Club , and he and his team work hard to get it ready to distribute the same day it is received. Most of the perishable food is distributed to neighbors in “cold boxes” consisting of a variety of fresh foods that need to be refrigerated – so they’re constantly being filled and distributed as people drive through for our services. “Every family gets a cold box so we go through it pretty quick. They get meats, dairy products, bakery, produce…”
He says that without donations from retailers like Walmart and Sam’s Club, we would have very little fresh food to distribute. “They’d just get the same USDA staples. It breaks up the monotony and gives people a good, healthy meal.” Robert loves that the donations usually mean we can give people a full box of healthy food. “They really do put out a lot. It’s tons of stuff we get every month from them. And we can fill the boxes up and they’re overflowing. It’s fresh, it’s good for you, it’s not processed. It’s real food.”