Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

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Page 24 of 107

association news Embracing Hunger Relief at the 2017 Summer Fancy Show A t around 4 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, the final day of the Fancy Food Show, there was a mass exodus. Booths were broken down, rolling luggage appeared out of nowhere, carpeting was rolled up; exhibitors and attendees left in droves to catch flights, beat the rush-hour traffic, or go have a drink to cel- ebrate a successful show. But as one crowd exited the exhibition floor, another entered: the food rescue teams from City Harvest. The Fancy Food Shows provide the largest single donation of the year to the Specialty Food Foundation's hunger-relief partners. At the Summer Show, the Foundation once again paired with City Harvest, a New York City organization that collects and distributes food to shelters, pantries, and soup kitchens. The journey of food to recipients involves hundreds of volunteers and thousands of hours: collecting, bagging, sorting, load- ing, unloading, sorting again, and finally going to those who need the food. "The specialty food community is incredibly gener- ous," says Ron Tanner, vice president of philanthropy, government and industry relations for the Specialty Food Association. "They are doing good for society by giving this quality food, and also helping their busi- nesses through potential tax benefits and reduced ship- ping costs." The Specialty Food Foundation also works with the nonprofit Food Recovery Network to obtain a seal of approval that the Fancy Food Show is a Food Recovery Verified event. FRN audits donations coming off the show floor and verifies that the food is being recov- ered and repurposed in a productive way, helping to feed the hungry. Both the Summer and Winter Fancy Food Shows were among the first events to be Food Recovery Verified. Donation Collection Begins The donation process began as Specialty Food Association members filled out a donation form and placed stickers on items that were to be collect- ed. Shortly before the collection process began, City Harvest employees hosted an orientation for volunteers, giving instructions and insight into the tremendous task in front of them. After a presentation stressing effi- ciency and safety, featuring floor plans and maps, team instructions, safety tips, and collection instructions (don't take food without donation stickers, don't take perishables that are at room-temperature to the touch) volunteer teams broke out onto the floor, covering hun- dreds of thousands of square feet. There is a team for kosher collection, and teams assigned to perishables and non-perishables. To aid in efficiency, once a booth was completely cleared of donations, volunteers flipped the tablecloth as a signal. Food was collected in clear plastic bags and brought to a distribution point. Delivering to Food Pantries and Soup Kitchens By the end of the day, City Harvest's team of 253 volunteers and 40 staff members rescued a total of 103,970 pounds of food, covering 175 pallets. This food was delivered to 10 pantries and soup kitchens across Manhattan, the Bronx, and Queens. Once delivered to the pantries and kitchens, the rescued food began the next step of the journey, making it to the tables of those who need it. "City Harvest appreciates the lengthy partnership with the Specialty Food Association which has yielded over two million pounds of food since 1997," says Racine Droz, associate director of food sourcing for City Harvest. "Nearly 1.4 million of our neighbors are strug- gling to put meals on their tables regularly and the qual- ity and quantity of food that we collect from the Fancy Food Show is much appreciated by the food pantries 22 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com

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