The Boston Globe recently reported on the efforts of the Mi-Amore, a Winthrop-based food rescue organization that delivers donated food to needy members of the community. Mi-Amore was founded in 2015 by a local husband and wife team who have first-hand experience growing up in a household that is reliant on food assistance. The volunteer-driven organization helps connect businesses that generate surplus food with the elderly, single-parent families, recovering addicts, and other residents in need.
Many food rescue organizations operate from a centralized location, to which recipients travel to acquire food. Mi-Amore operates differently; the organization’s eight volunteers collect food from the Winthrop Marketplace (an area supermarket), several restaurants, assisted living centers, and schools. The Winthrop Marketplace donates food that could not be sold, but is still wholesome and nutritious, including “ugly” produce or food past its sell-by date. Mi-Amore volunteers analyze the food they have collected and divide it for delivery directly to individuals in the community.
Community figures, such as police and fire chiefs, school officials, and religious leaders, are instrumental in identifying individual recipients who would benefit from the donations. Volunteers take the time to visit with recipients while delivering food, developing relationships and checking on their well-being. In the process, Mi-Amore keeps nutritious food out of landfills and in the hands of people who need it, while also providing some much-needed companionship.
Mi-Amore’s impact has been considerable. Last year, the organization recovered and distributed approximately $16,000 worth of food; this year, they project that number will exceed $25,000. To continue building on these successes, Mi-Amore has applied for an EPA Healthy Communities grant to strengthen the Winthrop schools food recovery project and establish projects in East Boston and Revere.
Mi-Amore is just one of a larger network of food recovery organizations working to recover food in the greater Boston area, including Cambridge-based Food For Free and Interfaith Social Services in Quincy, which is part of the Greater Boston Food Bank. For more information, see our recent blog describing how food rescue and donation are continuing to increase across Massachusetts.
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts assists businesses and institutions with recycling, reuse and food waste diversion. RecyclingWorks offers guidance on food donation and provides direct technical assistance to help businesses maximize waste diversion opportunities. To learn more about implementing or expanding a food waste diversion program, call our hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.