at the Davis Food Co-op
What does Food Rescue Mean to the DFC?
The idea of food rescue is embedded in our ENDS statement, the Cooperative Principles, and our Strategic Plan. Fighting food insecurity in our community has always been a priority. Our avenues for donating have not changed, but we have improved our processes to more accurately communicate our efforts with our owners. Food is rescued at the Co-op through many avenues; donating, composting, “no charge”, and deli food rescue. Sadly, not all food can be rescued. We try our best to feed our community while making health and public safety the first priority.
Green Team Training
The Davis Food Co-op recently updated the method and terminology used for tracking food rescue and waste. The Green Team and General Manager worked together to create a system that benefits both our management team and our sustainability goals. The new system along with staff training gives us accurate data on what, where, and how we are using our unsellable food. This change was made for two main reasons; to help our managers improve their purchasing habits for the store and to accurately share this data with our owners and shoppers!
These items are still edible but may be damaged or not up to produce cosmetic standards, making them unsellable. These items are donated to outside organizations like the Yolo Food Bank, Davis Community Meals, and the Davis Night Market. Our team also uses these items to fill the Freedge.
These items are unsellable and inedible, thus they are placed in the compost bin. The City of Davis has a great composting facility, accepting even our meat scraps and bones!
These are produce items that are in unsellable quantities, like lettuce trimmings, and are set aside for shoppers to feed their animals for free!
"No Charge" (N/C)
These items are in small quantities and unsellable but still edible, and are put in the break room for staff to take home free of charge. These items, when from the Grocery Department, are also used to fill our on-site Freedge.
Deli Food Rescue
These items are unsellable but still edible and abundant enough that the Deli can use them in production.
Produce Donated (lbs)
Grocery N/C (retail $)
Deli Food Donated and N/C (Retail $)
Where we donate
Yolo Food Bank coordinates the recovery, collection, and storage of food from a network of grocers and retailers, farmers, processors, and distributors. This food is provided to more than 80 local food pantries (including the UC Davis Pantry), senior meal delivery programs, homeless and domestic violence shelters, migrant centers, college campuses, mental health and recovery facilities an more.
Davis Community Meals and Housing offers a free meal on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and lunch on Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Participants often include seniors, low-income and homeless individuals, and families. Everyone is welcome.
Through the combined efforts of WSWA members and volunteers, they meet some of our communities immediate survival needs. They also take a leadership role in the fight for living wages and long-term solutions to the problems of poverty faced by low-income workers.
FNB is a mutual aid group which aims to feed food insecure community members and reduce food waste. Meals are free, vegan, and open to all.
Meals on wheels preps and delivers 350 – 400 hot lunches to active and house-bound seniors. They provide hot food and a familiar face to build a sense of community and provide needed personal attention.
The Davis Night Market recovers food that would be wasted at local restaurants after they close and redistribute this food in Central Park. Their mission is to reduce rood waste and food insecurity in Davis.
“Take what you need, leave what you don’t”
The Freedge strives to end food insecurity world wide through neighborhood kindness. There is a Freedge outside the Co-op that we fill with healthy food, and community members are free to drop off extra food or take anything they need.
The Food Recovery Network at UC Davis is a student-run club part of a national organization comprised of 230 other college chapters across 44 states. They partner with YOLO Food Bank to help distribute excess produce from the farmer’s market every Saturday to community members in need.
Our standards for quality are high, our standard for uniformity and specific pack are not. We work with a lot of beginning farmers and farmers who have only sold their goods through markets. When you start selling wholesale a lot of grocery stores expect uniformity with pack sizes and weight, if you do not meet these requirements you are not able to sell. We educate farmers on those retail standards but do not turn away produce that does not fit those rigid requirements. In this department we appreciate and welcome the variety that our local food production offers. We feel it is another layer of stress and added food waste for farmers to harvest, sort and pack produce that is all too specific. Our approach to produce ensures that our customers get a realistic experience when shopping and hopefully offers a bit of education on the reality of what is coming from the fields. If a local farm is having issues with quality, we communicate through it and come to a solution. It’s best to allow transparent communication so that the partnership is mutually beneficial.