South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project

Wooden Spoon received a grant for the South Central Minnesota Food Recovery Project to rescue food from being thrown away. A huge challenge for preventing edible food from being wasted is the difficulties for producers and stores to donate surplus food. Transportation and storage can be difficult to access and not worth the expense. Wooden Spoon plans to address this gap by creating a distribution system with restaurants, non-profits, and donation sites around south-central Minnesota.

Wooden Spoon built additional cold storage for excess food for donation“Relationships are critical to the work, and those take a long time to build and foster,” according to Natasha Frost, owner of the Wooden Spoon. Project engagement is continually growing for each of these coalitions work that low-income and BIPOC community members. Participant input has been key to the development of an app that will allow community organizations to actively rescue food.

The grant is being used to construct a holding space where food will stored until it can be distributed to a donation site, including the installation of more cold storage. This, paired with the distribution app, will help to align the needs of various non-profits and donation centers with the available rescued food.

This project helps to mitigate climate change effects by keeping food from sitting in landfills and producing the greenhouse gas methane. It also aims to address food injustices by providing more access for community members that are facing food insecurity.