The Food Rescue Program is an initiative begun in 2014. In collaboration with retail grocers, the Food Rescue Program collects food that has passed its “sell-by” date and would have been destined for the landfill, then distributes it to low-income families in Doña Ana County.
In 2018, the Food Rescue Program was responsible for generating over 1,219,250 million pounds of food worth over $2,097,110. Food rescue has been conducted by many large food banks, but this is the only the second large scale food rescue in New Mexico and the only one in Doña Ana County.
We are deeply committed to changing the health of the residents of Doña Ana County by providing improved nutrition and the Food Rescue Program is an important way to do so. Food rescue represents a fundamental shift in the approach to feeding the hungry, which has traditionally relied upon soliciting grant dollars to purchase food, relying upon government commodities, or organizing community food drives. It maximizes the use of scarce grant dollars, leveraging resources through enhanced coordination and multisector collaborations while covering a critical gap in the products that we can provide.
While commodities and food drives generate canned goods and other non-perishable products, the Food Rescue Program generates meat, dairy, produce, and bread. These items enhance both the quantity and nutritional value of the 30,000 food distributions made by the pantry each year. It also helps keep food out of the landfills which, as it is estimated that 40% of the food in America goes to waste, is an important byproduct of the initiative.