North Country Food Alliance is best known for rescuing surplus food that would otherwise go to waste and giving it away to those most in need. A large percentage of produce in this country gets thrown into dumpsters instead of being sold-- most of it is perfectly good fruits and vegetables. This often happens in Co-ops, grocery stores, and distribution warehouses to make space when new shipments of food arrives. We have a multi-million dollar insurance policy & employ food service professionals, allowing us to safely and legally distribute this surplus food, while reducing waste.
We build relationships with grocery stores, food co-ops, farmers markets, food distributors, and local farmers to rescue healthy surplus food. Every week we have regular pick-ups of large amounts of food that would traditionally go to waste. Most of it is healthy fresh produce- the kind of healthy food that is often harder for people in need to find. In 2015, food source partners included the Eastside Food Co-op, Cub Foods, The Produce Exchange, J & J Produce Distributor, Harvest Moon Co-op, Mississippi Market, Harmony Valley CSA, and Luck Farm.
We then partner with many local organizations, from soup-kitchens to neighborhood food shelves, to make sure this food goes to the most disadvantaged. Distribution partners in 2015 included The Center For Victims of Torture, Loaves & Fishes, Keystone Food Shelf, St. Paul Public Housing Authority, The Peace House, The Neale House, and many more.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are vital to a healthy diet. Unfortunately, a diet rich in fresh produce is more expensive than one high in processed foods, making it cost-prohibitive for many people. In addition, fresh foods (which spoil relatively easily) are more difficult for food shelves and soup kitchens to carry. This is why North Country Food Alliance focuses on providing fresh produce to low-income communities.