Where are Bill and Anita? Enjoying a Meal with Dana Frasz at Food Shift
Bill Somerville (PVF Founder) and Anita Kao (Program Associate) recently paid a visit to Dana Frasz (Food Shift Founder and Director) and had a meal at the Food Shift Kitchen in Alameda.
Food Shift is a nonprofit social enterprise focused on reducing waste, creating jobs in food efficiency, feeding communities, and increasing access to nutritious food. The Food Shift Kitchen, located within the Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), takes unused but perfectly good fruit and vegetables that would otherwise go to waste (such as surplus produce from farms and grocers) and turns them into nutritious and affordable foods for vulnerable populations. Food Shift donates vegetarian meals to local agencies, hosts community meals at the APC (a supportive housing community that offers housing and job training for hundreds of formerly homeless individuals), employs and trains APC residents as apprentices in the kitchen, and sells and caters meals to be a self-sustaining organization.
Last year, we gave the organization a discretionary grant to continue its work of reducing food waste and hunger in our communities.
We learned this year that Dana hired a new chef who was a perfect fit for their job training program (able to connect with the apprentices at APC and produce delicious and nutritious vegetarian meals), secured new catering opportunities at Kaiser Permanente and at a Google satellite site in Oakland, and started new partnerships with local distributors and agencies for food collection and donation.
We also learned that Food Shift relies on their volunteers’ vehicles to rescue and redistribute surplus food. One volunteer makes multiple trips in his Toyota Prius, and due to the vehicle’s capacity, the volunteer is unable to pick up pallets of produce from regional markets and distributors. Thousands of pounds of additional food is available but not able to be transported.
Because the work of Food Shift Kitchen is centered on receiving fresh produce from farms, grocers, and distributors (that would otherwise be discarded due to imperfections) and delivering nourishing meals to the community, there was a critical need for a more efficient and sustainable method of transporting this food.
Philanthropic Ventures Foundation gave Food Shift a grant to obtain a van, supporting the organization’s efforts to stabilize their operations, expand their services, and make a bigger impact.