Pantry 2 Table
At Gather, we are fortunate enough to receive tremendous support from the community in the form of fresh food donations. Often we receive more food than can be distributed given the very short shelf life of these items. Since there are numerous small pantries in the area without the capacity to meet the needs of their residents or ability to offer fresh foods, we have begun sharing food rescue and donations with these pantries so all may benefit. More than 32,000 pounds of food were shared last month with the 14 food pantries we help support.
Additionally, to further combat food waste in the Seacoast, Gather entered into a fruitful partnership with Cross Roads in Portsmouth last year. Cross Roads has a licensed kitchen facility and we raised funds to support additional hours for their chef, Michael. Michael now re-purposes and re-packages food for us two days per week and ensures there is no food waste from the numerous food donations we receive. This food is used for our mobile Meals 4 Seniors program (Portsmouth residents) as well as our Pantry Market which is located at our main site location. Through this partnership, we currently create an additional 250 healthy meals per week (125 meals each day) for distribution. These meals are created with fresh food that otherwise may have gone to waste.
Each week, our fresh rescue coordinator picks through the donated food we receive from the community. She selects those items that are nearing the end of their shelf life and coordinates with the chef to design a menu of meals using these ingredients. Twice each week, with the assistance of 4-6 community volunteers, 250 meals are created. Through this re-purposing process, we are able to extend the life of this nutritious food, ensure it is not wasted and create incredible healthy meals for the most vulnerable persons in our community. These meals are delivered to each of the 30 senior citizens participating in our mobile Meals 4 Seniors program. Each week, the seniors receive at least five complete fresh meals and numerous additional side dishes, as a supplement to the food bags we have already been providing. The remaining meals are distributed at our Pantry Market in Portsmouth.
If you'd like to volunteer with this program or learn more information please contact