For three years a local human service agency-Outreach East-has partnered with the Davison Community Schools to rescue something worthwhile-leftover lunch food. The concept is simple. Recycle over 4,000 pounds of food that would have been thrown in the garbage.
With a $3,183 grant, the Food Rescue Program will expand this year, serving more families and children. Support came from the Davison Community Fund, Jim and Lynn Peters Fund, Graff Family Foundation Fund, and the Food System Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.
The program began in Davison High School and has now expanded to Hahn Middle School. Each week, school food service staff package leftover food in one pound containers. Volunteers from Outreach East pick up the food on Thursdays, and keep it frozen at Outreach East until distribution.
"We are providing cooked, nutritious food to supplement the groceries we give to those in need," explained Janis Lebert, Executive Director of Outreach East.
"Last year we served 5,983 people, and that includes 2,720 children. This school year we hope to serve 2,000 families."
The program was founded by Dr. Harold Steinman, a retired optometrist who has studied food rescue programs across the country. Dr. Steinman's vision is to have a countywide rescue program. "We were the pilot program for this concept in Genesee County and have met with other groups to share our experience," said Lebert. "We are learning as we go."