The Capital Area Food Bank recently had the unique opportunity to collect 135,000 pounds of food leftover from the 58th Summer Fancy Food Show, the largest specialty food trade show in North America. This massive food recovery could not have been successful without the help of food bank staff and the 340 dedicated volunteers who lent a hand. Many of the food bank’s partner agencies even sent groups of their volunteers to help at the event. The fine foods collected at the Fancy Food Show were distributed to the food bank’s network of 700 partner organizations that offer various services to residents in need.
For one partner organization, the food recovery effort hit even closer to home. New Endeavors by Women, which provides transitional housing to homeless women in the Washington metro area, sent a group of their residents to help out. The group, along with other volunteers, collected hundreds of pounds of artisan cheeses from France and fresh pastas from Italy, among other treats.
The evening was a special opportunity not only for volunteers, but also for the vendors whose food would have otherwise been discarded. Countless vendors thanked the volunteers as they emptied booths filled with untouched food, recognizing the importance of the food bank’s mission. At the end of the evening, 121 pallets of food were collected. This was also the food bank’s largest single-day volunteer mobilization event in the organization’s history!
We extend our great thanks to all of those individuals who volunteered for this event—our success could not have been possible without the help of everyone involved!