Food Alone Won’t Solve Hunger: a Visit with Food Shift

 In grantmaking, grassroots, Where's Bill
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The Alameda Kitchen is a three in one solution to unemployment, hunger, and waste.

by: Bill Somerville, Founder

I recently ventured over to an old naval air base on the island of Alameda to learn more about Food Shift. I met with Dana Frasz, Food Shift’s Founder and Director, as well as with Doug Biggs, the Executive Director of the Alameda Point Collaborative. The Alameda Kitchen is a program of Food Shift that recycles unused but perfectly good food, provides job training for people with barriers to employment, hosts community meals at APC, and aims to be self-sustaining by selling their soup and other nutritious food products.

In order for Food Shift to sustain and grow their kitchen they have to generate revenue. That is why they are launching Soup-rise Pop-ups and looking to connect with large events, venues, and offices who want Food Shift to provide their delicious soups and sides.

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Food Shift’s Alameda Kitchen is located within Alameda Point Collaborative (APC), a supportive housing community for 500 residents. With over 30 acres, APC offers housing and job training for hundreds of formerly homeless individuals.

Meeting with Dana, I learned that she is both well informed and passionate about ways to redistribute food waste and create jobs in the process. She knows that food alone won’t solve hunger and that is why her vision goes beyond just providing food. Ultimately she envisions a systemic shift in the the way our culture values and distributes food that would both save precious food from being thrown away and drastically reduce hunger.

Dana is well connected in the food industry, and she has big plans for the future as well as the energy to implement them. As a program showing both potential and results, PVF decided to provide Food Shift with a discretionary grant to continue its work of reducing food waste and hunger in our communities.

Surplus produce - including carrots, potatoes, and bell peppers - that is all too "ugly" to make it to the supermarket. This is the kind of produce used at the Alameda Kitchen.
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