Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee is excited to announce the launch of MealConnect, an innovative technology platform that will allow restaurants and businesses to donate their surplus food to local nonprofits instead of going to waste. This technology will help reduce food waste, benefit the environment and put more food on the tables of families and individuals facing hunger in Northeast Tennessee.
- As restaurants and grocery stores offer more fresh, healthy options and look for ways to conserve the environment, Feeding America is testing new methods to rescue that food when it’s in danger of going to waste. Instead of being discarded, Feeding America’s food rescue tech platform, MealConnect, helps divert that food so it can instead reach struggling families.
- By connecting more donors with food pantries and meal programs, Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee will prevent more food waste and help end hunger for thousands of people in Northeast Tennessee.
- Donors interested in donating can visit https://mealconnect.org/ to donate today! Donations made through MealConnect are tax-deductible. DonorVisualGuide
- Millions of pound of food and groceries go to waste each year. To encourage companies and organizations to donate healthy food that would otherwise go to waste, they are protected from criminal and civil liability under the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
- Learn More: https://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/partners/become-a-product-partner/food-partners
- MealConnect depends on local Food Recovery volunteers. The volunteers will use their vehicles to pick up items and drop them off at a local pantry or hot meal site from our community partners. Second Harvest provides the materials to store donated items in a food-safe manner as well as provide in-person training for all volunteers in the program. This will help increase food recovery in the community and get the food to those in need. Volunteer Visual Guide
- Those who are interested in being Food Rescue Drivers can visit https://mealconnect.org/219/volunteers/signup or call Ashley Penley at 423.279.0430 EXT. 224
MealConnect enables food banks to easily oversee the relationships, improve data management and eliminate barriers to food rescue. When a food pantry located a couple miles away from the donor can pick up the product, it saves valuable food bank resources and the need for expensive transportation. Through MealConnect, food that previously might have gone to waste— such as a small load of lean meat from a local butcher—is recovered by one of the food bank’s member-food pantries or meal programs and is immediately directed to families in need.