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Off to the Races

Posted by Jaime Mehnert on May 1, 2019 1:01 am
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By: Anthony Math
In honor of the 145th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday May 4th, where finely honed movement is prized, I can’t help but draw parallels to the efficiency of Table to Table’s food rescue program.

Each morning, rain or shine, our team of professional drivers hit the road in their refrigerated trucks in search of finding as much fresh surplus food as possible to deliver to agencies that feed hungry people throughout Northern NJ.

Our daily routes include our regularly scheduled donors, comprised of supermarkets, distributors and other food service providers. In addition we receive sporadic, one-off donations from mostly large distributors. Their product is perfectly edible, and might reflect a large order that was cancelled, labelled incorrectly or a discontinued product line.

It could be 10 pallets of heirloom tomatoes, 16 pallets of milk or 8 pallets of hummus. We are frequently unaware of the “who”, “how much”, “what” or “when” of the donation until moments before a pick-up is needed. These present logistical challenges, but ones we consider good to have! Without large donations, we would not be able to deliver our goal of  23 million meals this year.

So a typical call goes something like this. “Hi Anthony, this is John from ABC distributors. I have 15 pallets of frozen  breakfast sandwiches. When will you send a truck?” Notice the key word “when” not “can” you send a truck? We take pride in servicing our donors so whether its 500 or 50,000 pounds of food we have the speed and flexibility to make the pick-up within 24 hours. Our donors appreciate that when they need the product off their dock they can rely on Table to Table’s reputation as the fastest, most flexible and most efficient food rescue organization to get the job done!

The 23 million meals we will redistribute this year represent almost 15 million pounds of food that will be nourishing our neighbors in need rather than decomposing in a landfill.

This can only happen with the generous support of our food donors and the hard work, speed and efficiency of our drivers!

Just as the world’s best jockeys, trainers and horses adapt to unpredictable track conditions and changing post positions, so does Table to Table adapt to the daily challenge of picking up vast amounts of different foods, from varied locations, with efficiency and speed.
With a deep appreciation for all the factors involved my perspective when watching the Run for the Roses is slightly different from most. Whatever your own focus, enjoy the race!

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