When an unexpected excess of organic eggs occurred at The Greater Boston Food Bank (GBFB) two weeks ago, over 1,500 lbs (nearly 11,000 eggs!) were in danger of being wasted. The eggs were short-coded, but organic and nutrient rich and needed to find a home quickly. The problem? It was mid-day on a Friday. “With the weekend looming, it was a great opportunity to utilize the Spoiler Alert platform to help us distribute the eggs to those in need,” explained Cheryl Schondek, Vice President of Food Acquisition and Supply Chain at GBFB.
GBFB distributes over 57 million pounds of healthy food each year and 50% of that product is perishable product, like cheese, milk and eggs. Eggs, like many high-quality sources of protein, are highly popular items among food-insecure populations. GBFB’s food waste is less than 2%, and the organization is efficient in getting these desired products distributed among its 550 partner agencies. But since the egg delivery came on a Friday afternoon, GBFB seized the opportunity to work with Spoiler Alert.
Notifications were sent out immediately via the online platform to GBFB’s network of partner agencies in Eastern Massachusetts. “Spoiler Alert was a great alternative option to Team GBFB’s standard operating practices and helped expedite the movement of the perishable product. We enjoyed the ease and the effectiveness of the platform and plan on using it again!” Schondek said.
Within hours, the surplus eggs transitioned from a time-sensitive issue to a large-scale nutrition opportunity, feeding families in need through the Social Services Program through The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Dorchester.
Some eggs were also used in the teaching kitchen for their Culinary Arts Training Program, which gives unemployed and underemployed adults an opportunity to begin a career in the culinary industry in order to earn a living wage and break the cycle of poverty. Chef Timothy Tucker, who created the Culinary Arts Training Program for the Salvation Army, and brought it to Boston to offer free job skills training in the culinary arts to non-traditional students, said, “I find what Spoiler Alert is doing to be extremely exciting. I call them the Uber of food waste. Because of what they do we can feed more people fresher food.”
Generous donations at this scale are what The Greater Boston Food Bank is all about. The food bank is the largest hunger-relief organization in New England and is able to provide healthy meals to over 500,000 people each year through food donations and distribution to more than 500 nonprofit partner agencies and nearly 60 direct distribution programs. The collaboration between the nonprofits comes at the height of Hunger Action Month, a nationwide awareness campaign to take action on ending hunger.