302 Food Rescue helps reduce food waste, feed more people through technology

Built on community relationships between premier sponsor Bayhealth and collaborating organizations the Food Bank of Delaware and American Heart Association & American Stroke Association, a first-in-the-nation statewide food rescue program, 302 Food Rescue, launched on Thursday, Nov. 17 at the Milford Food Lion.

Thanks to the power of technology and a smart phone app, 302 Food Rescue connects volunteers (302 Food Rescue Crew) with fresh nutritious foods from participating grocery stores, caterers, restaurants and more, and allows them to deliver it to organizations that serve food-insecure individuals across the First State.

“When Bayhealth was approached to be the premiere sponsor of the 302 Food Rescue, we jumped at the opportunity to collaborate,” said Rosi Wurster, Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive of Bayhealth. “Not having enough nutritious food to eat puts people at increased risk for heart disease, obesity, and other chronic conditions. Food-insecure children are also at higher risk for developmental problems and mental health concerns.”

“At the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, we’re also focused on nutrition security – meaning we want our neighbors to not only have access to food, but access to healthy food such as fresh produce, proteins, and other foods that are low in sodium and sugar,” said Kimberly Holmes MSN, APRN, ACNS-BC, PCCN-K, President of the American Heart Association Delaware Board of Directors, and Clinical Nurse Specialist and Primary Stroke Program Coordinator for Bayhealth Medical Center. “Heart disease is the number one cause of death globally, nationally and here in Delaware. Stroke is the number three cause of death in Delaware. Eighty percent of cardiovascular disease and stroke cases can be prevented by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and one of these key factors is diet.”

The new 302 Food Rescue app is powered by Food Rescue Hero, which was purposefully designed to automate the time consuming and logistical challenges facing food rescue organizations. Food Rescue Hero enables scalable impact on food waste, food insecurity and climate change. Technology-coordinated, community-powered volunteer drivers are alerted when surplus food is available nearby to be picked up and delivered to a nonprofit serving people experiencing food insecurity.

“America has more than enough food for everyone to eat,” said Cathy Kanefsky, President and CEO of the Food Bank of Delaware. “But each year, billions of pounds of perfectly good food go to waste in our country, 302 Food Rescue will allow us to do our part here in Delaware to divert fresh food from the landfill and put it on the plates of those who need it most.”

To learn more about 302 Food Rescue, becoming a food donor or to download the app and start rescuing food as a volunteer, visit www.302foodrescue.org.

Food Lion’s Director of Operations Alan Phillips (center) helps to load a truck with food as part of the first food rescue using the 302 Food Rescue app in the state of Delaware.
Food Bank of Delaware’s President and CEO Cathy Kanefsky speaks about how 302 Food Rescue could help the more than 100,000 Delawareans who are food insecure.
Bayhealth’s Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive Rosi Wurster shares how non-medical variables such as environment, housing and food insecurity play a critical role in a person’s well-being and health.