Chefs to End Hunger went into overdrive mid-March recovering record amounts of surplus food as food service operators shut their doors and liquidated their kitchens. Meanwhile, as the hospitality industry largely shut down, millions of dollars of inventory sat unsold on the shelves of wholesalers like Vesta and other food manufacturers and producers. Almost 90% of this surplus was high quality and highly perishable, which meant that Chefs to End Hunger had to turn this food over in a very short amount of time, landing it at organizations that could distribute directly to their clientele.
In the first 60 days of the shelter in place order, Chefs to End Hunger rescued over 1.6 million pounds of food and distributed that food to over 15 different agency partners in California and Las Vegas. That is more than 25% of our food recovery efforts in all of 2019. Crazy. The silver lining, of course, is that this work keeps high quality, healthful food out of landfills and gets it to those who need it now more than ever.
In May of this year, our founder and logistical partner, Vesta Foodservice, in partnership with Chefs to End Hunger, was awarded a contract by the USDA for the Farmer's to Families Box Program. With the logistical and procurement expertise of Vesta, and the networking capabilities of Chefs to End Hunger, both organizations have had the opportunity to continue work feeding our communities through August 2020.