We Need Your Help to Rescue Food and Build Healthy Soils

Click the video above to learn more about our Food Rescue and Compost programs that are helping to put an end to food waste in Los Angeles. Food waste isn’t good for anyone, especially when we know there are families in need, and food scraps that go to the landfill create harmful greenhouse gases. We’re tackling this problem on two fronts: first, by giving still-edible food that is being discarded by grocery stores to those facing food insecurity, and second, by transforming inedible food scraps into nutrient-rich soil. 

Food Rescue

Equity is at the forefront of our mission, and part of that includes addressing food challenges. Our food rescue team regularly visits local grocery stores, rescuing food set to expire and delivers it to MEND Poverty to distribute to families in need. The truckloads of food that we deliver have an untold impact on so many Angelenos from historically under-resourced communities. Jonathan Lopez, our Corpsmember and former food rescue truck driver, understands the urgency of this work, stating, “Groceries have been really pricey because of inflation, and it’s just really helpful to those in need.” It’s apparent that there is so much need for this kind of work; we envision a future where no Angeleno goes hungry, and reducing waste from grocery stores is a great approach to addressing the issue.

Compost

What makes our program so unique is that we are addressing food waste not just by giving to those in need, but also composting what can’t be eaten. We pick up food that MEND deems inedible and take it to LA Compost, where our Corpsmembers work with composting experts to create nutrient-rich soil. Our Corpsmember Valente explains the process well: “There are two main components in Compost: browns and greens. Browns are added carbons, and greens are nitrogen. We start off with mulch and sawdust, which make up the browns, and the greens are mostly food scraps. We water it and build it like lasagna.” After it has been turned, and the bacteria is given time to do its magic, the end product is sifted and given to community gardens and public parks to use as nutrient-rich soil. This process is helping us create a greener city but also prevents these food scraps from entering the landfill, where they would ultimately create harmful greenhouse gases, accelerating climate change.

Take Action

It’s upsetting to witness food going to waste, especially when food insecurity in Los Angeles is so apparent. Uneaten food ending up in landfills worsens the problem. If you share our passion for combating food waste, we invite you to support our cause by making a donation to the Corps before the year ends. Your contribution will ensure the continued success of these programs, contributing to a more equitable future for our city and a cleaner atmosphere for all of us.