Thursday, August 23, 2012
Algonquin Jewel Stores Donate Directly To ALITH Pantry
Jewel and other stores in the national Supervalu grocery and pharmacy company contribute goods and producing nearing their sell-by date to charitable organizations as part of a corporate "Zero Waste" plan. Until about six months ago that meant taking the food to the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva for redistribution to local food pantries. The problem, according to ALITH Pantry Manager Sal Maggio, was that, especially in the case of produce, "By the time it gets to Geneva and back to us, some of it is pretty nasty."
"It's a question of time," said Steve Ericson, NIFB Director of Food Procurement, which is why his group arranged with Jewel top execs to allow local food pantries pick up food donations directly so less was wasted. "This is fantastic," said Maggio. "Monday we picked up so much we almost didn't have room in our refrigerators."
Indeed, the Pantry's new abundance of produce, baked goods, and dairy products turns out to be a not unalloyed blessing, according to Maggio. "We still need more volunteers for pickups and receiving and stocking," he said. Even as more food comes in to the ALITH Pantry, so do more people looking for help. "This month alone we've had 40 new requests," said Maggio.
In the pic: Volunteer stevadores Art and Peg Nesser, Loren Twarling and John Novak load food donations at Algonquin's East Side Jewel for the Algonquin Lake in the Hills Interfaith Food Pantry.