ICT Food Rescue helping feed the hungry and eliminating food waste

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A local organization is hoping to not only end food waste but ending food insecurity.

Day in and day out Reverie Roasters not only serves up your daily dose of coffee but they make homemade treats as well.

Stephanie Hand, Reverie Roasters Executive Chef said, “on a daily, you'll see croissants, scones, muffins, cookies. We also have homemade breads.”

Many times, what doesn't sell goes into the trash. Hand said, “at restaurants we all have the same issues, there is inevitable waste.”

Stephanie Merritt saw that as an opportunity to not only eliminate food waste but feed the hungry in Wichita. Merritt said, “we have that food insecurity right here in our hometown yet we're throwing it away.”

Merritt is the founder of ICT Food Rescue. It's a volunteer organization that works through an app called Food Rescue US.

Volunteers are runners. Much like the Uber app, when businesses have leftover food to be picked up the runners are notified through the app. Merritt said, “you download the app and you go and claim a rescue. All the information [is there] and it tells you where to go, what to say when you walk in the door. Any contact information you might need. And it tells you exactly where you need to take the food too.”

Merritt popped in to Reverie to pick up leftovers and is delivering them to It Takes A Village. It’s a nonprofit that help at-risk youth find housing.

It is such a blessing to know we are getting healthy food, we are getting good food,” said Terry Atwater, It Takes a Village CEO. “We've been able to reduce our overall food cost right now about 71% because of ICT Food Rescue, so it's huge.”

Reverie Roasters is one of seven other businesses that donates its leftover food. Hand said, “it's fantastic that is going to someone who needs it, appreciates it and that we're able to do it.”

In the United States 67.58 billion pounds of food is thrown out. That's why businesses like Reverie, even national chains like Starbucks and Panera Bread are stepping up and donating its leftovers.

So instead of Reverie’s leftover food filling a dumpster, it's fill the bellies of Wichita’s hungry. Merritt said, “it feels good to actually see that impact of this, this is who you're impacting. It's real lives. Real people.”

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