Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19

by Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Inc.
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Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
Support Hunger Relief during Covid-19
NYC Rescue Mission
NYC Rescue Mission

Hello! 

Time sure flies by! We at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine have been working on expanding, rescuing, and feeding people all across the country thanks to your support. I wanted to share some stories and updates that your generous support has made possible: 

  1. RLC has QUINTUPLED in size and impact since 2014. In that year, we rescued 47,255 lbs of food, and in 2015 we were able to divert 286,458 lbs of food that would have been wasted and feed over a quarter million meals to those who are hungry. 
  2. In our annual review, a third party consultant conducted a research survey of our food business partners and human services agencies we supply food to, and we received results that were really astounding! We found out that we have been able to provide up to 75% of the food budget for one homeless shelter we provided food to, and averaged 50% of the food budgets of the agencies we worked with. This money was instead used to provide more housing, clothes, hygienic products, and jobs skills training for more long-term support. 

All of this tremendous, rapid growth has been due to the amazing support of individuals like you. Ever since I quit my job at JPMorgan Chase to work on Rescuing Leftover Cuisine full-time, I have been truly amazed by the support we have received. We don't expect to slow down. We have hit a point where we have the same number of partner food business providers on our waitlist as we have current food business partners! The only thing that is stopping us from engaging these partners and donating their excess food is capacity. As a non-profit startup, we have been able to achieve so much already, and the demand for our services is so great that we know that we can eliminate more food waste and feed more hungry people. Thus, we are looking forward to an even greater 2016 and beyond! Thank you so much for choosing to come with us on this incredible journey. 

Best,
Robert

Southside Community Mission
Southside Community Mission

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Boxes of Food Rescued by our volunteer Aaron!
Boxes of Food Rescued by our volunteer Aaron!

I hope you are all doing well! As the holidays near and Thanksgiving is just around the corner, we at Rescuing Leftover Cuisine have been reflecting on how much we have to be thankful for. Your help and continued support is just one of those things. Another is our volunteers, whose work is supported by your contributions. One of our Lead Rescuers relayed this amazing story to me: 

The team of volunteers I was leading that day was finishing up at the NYC Rescue Mission directly after a very heavy bagel delivery. As we were getting the receipt, we were greeted by a member of the staff who often swung by the front desk. This staff member saw the bags of bagels and thanked me and the volunteers. He started to tell us about a time when he himself was homeless. He talked about how during a time when it was starting to get cold, just like it is right now, and he couldn't get a meal because everywhere he went was out of food by the time he arrived. After going to several places, he arrived at one place that had bagels. He described receiving this bagel and told us, "when you're that hungry, that one bagel can fill you right up and keep you warm." I remember thinking, "the bagels sure are heavy, but they can really fill someone up, and if that's the case, I'm going to continue volunteering with Rescuing Leftover Cuisine to do this." 

Your contributions have helped us purchase blue folding carts that help these volunteers push carts full of bagels instead of carrying them by hand. Stories like these keep us going, and help us expand. We have expanded to over 12 different cities, rescued over 290,000 pounds of food so far, and provided more than 240,000 meals. We are so thankful for our volunteers, donors, and partners. It really does take a village, and we hope to continue to work with everyone to expand our impact and make food rescue more widespread! 

Group delivered +100 lbs to Bowery Mission!
Group delivered +100 lbs to Bowery Mission!

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Students Rescuing Leftover Cuisine!
Students Rescuing Leftover Cuisine!

At the Mainchance Homeless Shelter, I was dropping off food to the back kitchen as usual, and on my way back out to the front, a person stopped me. A tall, lanky African American man approached me and said, "Hey, I just wanted to thank you. I see you coming in here like everyday to provide us this amazing food. I always see you but I never got to thank you. You're my silent hero and I'm your secret admirer." We spoke about where I was from, and he even knew my home language because he lived in my home country for two decades!! It was crazy to find out so much we had in common, and it was great to talk to him. 

Since our last update to you in May, we have expanded even further. July was our largest month by far, amounting to over 42,000 lbs of food in that month and nearly doubling what we did in June. This means over 30,000 meals were served in that month. Year to date, we have served over 150,000 meals for the hungry. Although we weren't able to fundraise enough to purchase a van or refrigerated truck, we have instead worked around our limited budget and have been able to use your funding to rent UHauls nearly every day to meet the large donation sizes we are now collecting. Check out our picture below to see the types of food and amounts of food! We also now have 12 cities that are operating and are actually Rescuing Leftover Cuisine! 

Your contribution of funding has been monumental in this tremendous growth, and we cannot thank you enough for all your support. Please let us know if there is another information we can be transparent about, and please share our story so that others can learn and support! Stories like the above are shared on a monthly basis on our newsletter, so you can sign up for that on our website. Finally, on behalf of all of the hungry people who have been too shy, or just never had the chance to come up to us and talk to us, thank YOU for making this possible. 

Truckloads of food!
Truckloads of food!
UHaul loads thanks to your funding!
UHaul loads thanks to your funding!

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Volunteer is Rescuing Leftover Cuisine!
Volunteer is Rescuing Leftover Cuisine!

It has been a tremendous growth period for Rescuing Leftover Cuisine these first few months of 2015 thanks to your generous donations! 

Thanks to your help, we have been able to expand our impact in so many different dimensions. We have increased the quantity of food rescued, quality of food rescued, geographical impact, and types of food rescued. Just last week, one of the biggest homeless shelters that we work with told us that two of the seven dinners they served to the homeless and hunger were entirely provided for by our food donations.

This homeless shelter told me, "we did not have to buy any food at all for our dinner meals, saving us a total of $1,600 for both of those nights that week. You helped us directly fed more than 600 people on just those two days just from Rescuing Leftover Cuisine. Best part is, we never have to turn anyone away anymore because we have enough food for everyone now." This money saved will be used for education of job skills, hygenic products, and more housing for the homeless and hungry rather than for food. 

This amazing progress would not have been possible without your suppport. Not only have we been able to provide much more of a holistic offering of food that can comprise entire meals like this, but we also have been able to expand our geographical reach. We are now operational in 8 cities across the United States, with interest from 30 other states now. We are limited only by our funding. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine has proven to be a highly effective, efficient, and rewarding model, but to expand to those other 30 states, we need more hands on deck, infrastructure, and equipment to expand more.

There are still millions of pounds of good, edible food out there that is still being wasted, while just blocks away millions of families are starving. We have really made tremendous progress with the limited resources we have and thanks to your support, but we know that this is just the beginning. As always, we really appreciate your feedback, so please let us know what cities you think we should prioritize first, and how we can raise the funding to continue to expand to those cities maintaining our rapid pace of expansion. Thank you so much for all your support, and we look forward to expanding more with you in the future! 

Food Drive by NYU students for RLC
Food Drive by NYU students for RLC
Student Groups helping to Rescue 120 lbs of food!
Student Groups helping to Rescue 120 lbs of food!

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RLC Cart in Action
RLC Cart in Action

During this bitter cold season we are having, often nights, "Code Blue" is in effect in homeless shelters. During severely cold nights, during snowstorms, or hazardous weather, the city puts shelters on Code Blue, which authorizes homeless shelters to break fire hazard safety laws of limits to how many people can be in the rooms of the building. So the nyc rescue mission packs as many people as possible and does not turn anyone away even as they run out of beds. People are often sleeping all over the floor in the kitchen, dining area, and auditorium. Days like these, there is just so much demand for help. Many people come to the shelter after the kitchen staff had gone home, and there is often not enough food. 

Your support mattered. Thanks to your support, we have been able to help shelters like these meet demand for food. On one particular night, we were able to provide about 200 warm chipotle burritos to those cold, hungry people! This would not have been possible without your support. Your contribution has allowed us to purchase the bags, tins, gloves, and carts necessary for our operations. With these carts (see picture attachments), we have been able to increase our capacity without a necessary increase in the number of volunteers. In December, we rescued nearly 6,000 lbs of food, and thanks to the carts, we are already seeing an increase - in January, we rescued 7,700 lbs (enough to provide more than 6,400 meals). That's more than 28% more already! So, from the words of the hungry we serve, "Thank you!"

We expect to see even greater impact, as the additional funds have allowed us to begin operations in Washington DC and Portland, Oregon. However, it is not enough to sustain other branches and even our growth in NYC. We need more capacity building support and funding for general operating expenses because we are a startup. We plan to bridge this gap with more focus on fundraising events. Please let us know what you think about our progress, as any feedback is much appreciated. Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us, and I look forward to hearing from you!  

Leftover Cuisine is Nutritious and Healthy
Leftover Cuisine is Nutritious and Healthy

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Organization Information

Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Inc.

Location: Flushing, NY - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @rescuingcuisine
Project Leader:
Robert Lee
New York, NY United States
$582,911 raised of $600,000 goal
 
5,872 donations
$17,089 to go
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