Food Recovery & Recycling

The Economic Research Service of the USDA reported in 2012 that 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. Retail-level losses represented 10 percent (43 billion pounds) and consumer-level losses 21 percent (90 billion pounds) of the available food supply. At the same time, 14.5% of households (more than 15 million) in the US were food insecure.

In 2010, The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources conducted a study estimating that Milwaukee city residents and businesses generate an estimated 47,000 tons of food waste annually, and much of that organic matter is sent to a nearby landfill that serves four counties in Southeast Wisconsin.

Annually Friedens distributes over 1 million pounds of food to our neighbors, over 1/3 of which has been recovered from local grocers, growers, and businesses. in 2019 Friedens distributed 1.3 million pounds of food. Out of that 1.3 million, 300,000-500,000 pounds (1/3 to 1/2 of our total inventory) is considered recovered/gleaned (i.e. saved from landfills).

Food Recovery & Sustainability

Friedens plays a major role in expanding the food life cycle. Each year, we rescue over 1.3 million pounds of food from local grocers such as Outpost, Trader Joes, Costco, Aldi and Walmart. These are items that are high in nutritional quality, but are not suitable for traditional retail due to damaged packaging, and imperfections in produce appearance. 

Rescuing food in this type of way is commonly called gleaning. Gleaning expands the choices we are able to offer at our pantries, and allows us to provide a greater variety of healthy, culturally specific foods. In 2020, we are excited to add capacity to this food recovery and waste reduction effort by adding an operations manager and participating in Glean MKE, a group that is focused on rescuing and redistributing excess regionally grown foods from fields and farmers.

Martha helps us out by picking up ALDI

Jim helps out by picking up Costco... in his Prius!

Are you interested in helping us rescue food from going to waste?

Friedens Pantries exists because of the support of our neighbors

With multiple food distribution programs that distribute more than 1.3 million pounds of food to our neighbors each year and wrap-around support that helps clients achieve a sense of belonging and empowerment, Friedens Pantries aims to end hunger and create a safe space for all. Make your impact today!