Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue
Our grassroots movement to rescue excess perishable food to feed the hungry is growing!
Amount of Food Rescued Sets Record
The Food Recovery Hierarchy prioritizes actions to prevent and divert wasted food. 
Thanks to the support of our 37 food donors, Saving Grace rescued and redistributed 713,721 pounds of healthy perishable food, valued at more tha n $1.2 million, in 2017. This is an increase of 17.2% over the 2016 total.

This brought the lifetime total of food rescued since operations began just over four years ago to 2,036,279 pounds through the end of 2017.
'Knicely Done' Features Saving Grace on March 22

Tune into WOWT 6 News at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 22, as John Knicely follows driver Randy Hansen to pick up excess perishable food from Fresh Thyme and deliver it to the Christian Outreach Program Elkhorn (COPE). The "Knicely Done" segment also features an interview with Beth Ostdiek Smith, Saving Grace founder and CEO.
7.5 Tons of Food Rescued in Four Hours

It was all hands on deck for a special Saturday morning food rescue at the CenturyLink Center following a trade show event. Saving Grace drivers and team members loaded up 15,359 pounds of produce, meats and other perishable foods in just four hours.

Six truck loads of healthy perishable food were taken to several of our local nonprofit partner agencies to feed their clients rather than being tossed into a dumpster.

Panelists, from left, Nancy Williams, Clayton Chapman, Beth Ostdiek Smith, Colin Duggan and Moderator Brian O'Malley. (Photos by Debra Kaplan)
'Wasted' Focuses on Ways to Reduce Food Waste

It's up to all of us to make changes that will reduce the amount of food waste in our country. That's the message heard by a sell-out crowd watching the documentary "Wasted! The Story of Food Waste" Feb. 21 at Film Streams Dundee Theater.

Saving Grace partnered with Film Streams and No More Empty Pots to screen the film. Prior to the show, Kitchen Table Restaurant served a variety of appetizing items created with rescued foods.

Forty percent of the food produced in the United States goes to waste, and 90 percent of this wasted food ends up in landfills. That doesn't have to be the case, though.

The film showed how some of the world's most influential chefs make the most of every kind of food, transforming w hat most people consider scraps 
Rescued food was transformed into appetizing dishes by Kitchen Table.
into incredible dishes. It also took viewers to a farm in Japan where pigs are fed specific kinds of recycled foods to create flavor profiles in the meat. The film showcased how millions of tons of produce go unharvested every year, often because of physical appearance. And, it highlighted how consumers are not taking advantage of all the edible parts of a plant. Leaves comprise 60 percent of a cauliflower plant, for instance, but they are discarded, even though they taste good.

Have you ever thought about what happens to your food when it's thrown away? According to the film, a head of lettuce takes 25 years to decompose in the landfill. 

A panel discussion following the film provided insights on what we can do to change these statistics.
  • Nancy Williams, co-founder and president/CEO of No More Empty Pots, said the focus should be on not creating waste in the first place. "All of us have a piece of this, and that is what will make the change happen." 
  • Clayton Chapman, chef and owner of The Grey Plume, said a sustainable approach is the core of what his restaurant does. "We use everything, head to tail, and we are composting."
  • Beth Ostdiek Smith, founder and CEO, said Saving Grace receives wonderful produce and healthy foods from its donors. While Saving Grace has started a movement to rescue excess perishable food, Smith called on attendees to get involved and ask grocery stores, restaurants and other food purveyors what they do with their excess food.
  • "There is a workable map," said Colin Duggan, chef and co-owner of the Kitchen Table restaurants. "We just have to follow the steps."
  Find out more about "Wasted", which is available to watch at home.
I joined Saving Grace because we can take care of two issues currently facing our society at the same time. We can feed the hungry and reduce the negative impact of food waste on the environment! 

Erik Bird, Saving Grace Board Member
Saving Grace Perishable Food Rescue |