Ten Minutes With the Site Director of Food Rescue
Kathy Minck is making a big difference in people's lives
Photo by Ryan Lavine
Kathy Minck, a Litchfield native, is making the most of retirement from her career at the Hartford Insurance Co. After reading about a non-profit who’s mission is to get food to those who need it, Minck knew she wanted to be involved. Approximately 20,000 people in Litchfield County are classified as food insecure; with children comprising over one-third of that number. Minck, who is now the northwest corner site director of Food Rescue US, is working hard to bring those numbers down.
Kathy, what is the mission of Food Rescue?
Food Rescue US is committed to ending American food insecurity by directly transferring fresh food that otherwise would be thrown away from restaurants, grocers, and other food industry sources to food insecure families.
How do you do that?
It really is simple! Local donors donate their surplus food that would normally go to waste. Volunteers pick up surplus food from donors and deliver to receiving agencies that feed our hungry neighbors. Our food rescuers choose deliveries that work for them via our easy to use Food Rescue App that lists a complete schedule of food rescues and deliveries needed.
Where does the food go?
Our 13 receiving agencies include: Susan B Anthony, Prime Time House, Fish, Torrington soup kitchen, Friendly Hands, Hands of Grace, Litchfield St. Michael’s, Open Door, New Milford, Bethlehem, Cornwall, Kent, and Woodbury pantries.
During the holidays how do your needs change?
We need more turkeys, fresh vegetables, and other holiday fixings.
How many suppliers are donating food?
We currently have 19 wonderful food donors and are constantly seeking new sources of fresh, healthy food. The Market CT’s of Bantam and Northville, owned by Deborah and David Brenner, were one of our first donors and are currently our largest, providing us with delicious healthy food six days a week in Bantam and three days a week in Northville. Bantam Bread, Love Hearts Bakery, Meraki, New Morning Market, Stop & Shop, The Pantry, and The Smithy, are just some of our generous donors.
How many volunteers do you have and what are they asked to do?
We currently have around 60 amazing volunteers with about half of them doing rescues on a weekly basis. A rescue volunteer just has to have their own car.
Are any local farms involved?
Yes, we established a gleaning program—picking fresh fruit and vegetables that can’t be used for retail—at local farms last year and are blessed to have Wild Carrot, Arethusa Farm, and one private property provide fresh vegetables and apples to many of our pantries.
What would be the best gift for Food Rescue to receive from the community over the holidays?
The best gift for us at anytime of the year is to get new donors signed up to help us to eliminate food waste by providing good food to our pantries. But during the holiday time, many pantries make up food baskets so things like turkeys and holiday fixings are always a plus. Go to foodrescue.us to get the app.