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MEANS Database Makes Donating Excess Food Easy & Effective

MEANS Database is a nationwide food recovery program dedicated to feeding the hungry and eliminating food waste. Their innovative online database connects stores, farmers and restaurants with local food pantries to get excess food to those who need it — and keep it out of the dumpster.

Frontier Co-op is proud to support the MEANS Database through our Simply Organic Giving Fund Grant Program. In 2021, they’ll receive $15,000 to grow the number of co-ops and independent natural food retailers participating in their program to rescue unsold organic food.

How MEANS Database Works

MEANS, which stands for Matching Excess and Need for Stability, makes the process of food donation quick and easy for both donor and provider.

Participating retailers simply post the food items they want to donate to the MEANS website, and the database connects them with pantries and shelters who are interested in those items. Providers then pick up the excess food from donors and distribute it locally.

On average, it takes less than 30 minutes to connect donors with providers, and less than an hour for donations to be claimed. To date, there are over 3,000 nonprofit organizations on the MEANS database who have collectively saved more than 3 million pounds of food.

Joining Up Is a No-Brainer

There are countless benefits for retailers looking to become a part of the MEANS Database. It’s completely free for both donors and distributors to join, and they never charge a donation fee. There are other incentives as well — tax deductions are available for donated food, and donors are protected from liability. But perhaps the biggest benefit is the direct impact donation has on a retailer’s community and our planet.

Tackling Food Insecurity & Eliminating Food Waste

According to current projections from Feeding America, 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, may experience food insecurity in 2021. At the same time, nearly half of all food in the United States goes to waste.

The environmental impact of wasted food is hard to overstate. According to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), “In the US alone, the production of lost or wasted food generates the equivalent of 37 million cars’ worth of greenhouse gas emissions.” But if we managed to save more food and waste less, WWF estimates we could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 11 percent!

Food recovery organizations like MEANS aim to tackle both these issues at once by redirecting excess food to people who need it. Their well-organized platform offers the opportunity for both small, locally owned businesses and large national companies to make a profound impact on our world.

Join the 3,000+ retailers who have already signed up for the MEANS Database.

If you’re an organic food retailer, farmer or restaurant, sign up for the MEANS Database here. Still have questions? Reach out to their team by email at [email protected]

Not a retailer? Consumers interested in fighting food insecurity and food waste can help by encouraging their local co-op or grocer to become a MEANS donor. Share this article with family, friends or businesses you love.

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