From the early days of Territory, back when there were just two of us scrabbling away in a subleased conference room, we’ve made giving back a core element of the work we do.
Starting in 2013, through our Giveback Program, customer purchases have helped provide financial and food support for non-profits like Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture and National Farm to School Network. We’ve loved channeling both our personal and our customers’ enthusiasm for healthy food into assistance for mission-aligned orgs, helping more people put nourishing food on the table.
I’m excited to share an update on some next steps to expand the reach and impact of the program, starting with our newest partner organization. We’ve teamed up with Feeding America®, a leading non-profit in fighting hunger through a national network of local food banks.
NOW, EVERY TIME A TERRITORY ORDER IS PLACED, FEEDING AMERICA GETS THE FUNDS IT NEEDS TO RECOVER AND SHARE MORE THAN A POUND OF FOOD WITH SOMEONE STRUGGLING TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE.
In the first year of the program, we’ve committed to help Feeding America recover a minimum of 300,000 pounds of food that otherwise would’ve gone to waste. While that’s certainly significant, we’re eager to expand our commitment as we grow.
We chose Feeding America as part of an overall organizational focus on reducing food waste. Here’s why:
- Waste is a big issue we can all address: Simply put, food waste is an enormous, multifaceted problem. 60 million tons of food goes to waste each year (lots of that to landfills), yet 1 in 7 Americans faces uncertainty over where their next meal is coming from. A heartbreaking truth. There are however, lots of ways individuals and organizations can make a meaningful dent on both fronts.
- You’ve told us it’s important to you and that we help with the effort: In my many convos with customers, you’ve told me consistently that one of the biggest frustrations with healthy eating is wasting ingredients you don’t get around to cooking, or you get bored of eating what you prepped back on Sunday, it spoils, and makes the inevitable trip to the trashcan. Consequently, you’ve shared our meals help you avoid that waste, and we can help further by making it easier to tune your order to just the right amount each week (coming soon!).
- Less waste is inherent to our model, and we can go further: Unlike so many others in the prepared food world, we never ask our local chefs to make food that hasn’t already been ordered. You tell us each week exactly how much you need and our chefs only procure ingredients to fulfill those placed orders. Means next to no guesswork or waste. We’re now looking at how we can help our local chef network go further by spreading the word on the latest in waste reduction practices for all the food they produce, in addition to what they craft for our customers.
- To that point, we’re also proud to continue our partnership with organizations like Arlington Food Assistance Center and Upward Bound House, where we donate the few extra meals we may have as a result of our weekly quality assurance procedures.
- Loads of local volunteering opportunities: Each of our employees gets 3 days off to volunteer in their communities. Non-profits focusing on food recovery and hunger offer lots of great ways for our team (and any customers who want to join us!) to donate their time. From food banks in the Feeding America network, to all their local partners, there are tons of ways to pitch in and have fun doing so.