Blog Post

Fortune’s column on startups recently published Beth Kowitt’s article featuring the Daily Table, a nonprofit grocery store based in Dorchester, MA. Founded by Doug Rauch, the grocery store aims to reduce wasted food and increase access to affordable nutritious food. Rauch explains that while “best by” or “sell by” dates, for most items, are a point after which peak quality cannot be guaranteed, they are not indicative of expiration or food safety. Thus, Daily Table collects donations and buys products from manufacturers that are close to these dates. Most of the food is sourced through special purchasing programs from manufacturers or vendors and 20-25 percent is collected in donations, recovering 1.3 million pounds of food to date.

The nonprofit, informed by nutrition experts, provides families with food that is affordable for food stamp recipients. The decision to make it an affordable grocery store rather than a food pantry has been successful, according to Rauch, because people do not want a handout. Daily Table therefore resolves the fundamental issue with dignity versus quality. The store houses a commissary kitchen, integral to the nonprofit’s model, preparing nutritious and affordable food for the community. Currently, 7 percent of the store is self-funded, while the remainder comes from foundations.

RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with recycling, reuse, and food waste diversion through composting and food donation. RecyclingWorks offers best management practices for food donation to help businesses in Massachusetts donate surplus food, including legal fact sheets from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic on date labeling, liability protections, and tax incentives. To speak to a recycling expert, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at