This past December, SWACO team members jumped into action after receiving a call from Vista Trans Logistics (Vista Trans), an international supply chain transportation provider, who had a semi-truck with 25 pallets of bananas were turned away due to the bananas not meeting the buyer’s quality and transportation product temperature standards. Therefore, these still-edible bananas needed a new home.
Vista Trans attempted to deliver the load of bananas to a variety of companies within the Columbus area; however, with holiday schedules and the sheer volume of bananas, it quickly became clear rehoming nearly 42,000 pounds of bananas would be no easy task. With time running out and a desire to keep the bananas from being wasted, Vista Trans called SWACO for help.
Thankfully, our team was able to provide several rehoming options for Vista Trans, and our partner, Mid-Ohio Food Collective (MOFC), was able to accept the bananas.
“Evey day I see first-hand the incredible ways our SWACO team members leverage their knowledge and networks to help residents and the environment thrive,” said Joe Lombardi, SWACO’s Executive Director. “To our team and our partners at Mid-Ohio Food Collective, I offer my gratitude and appreciation for another job well done!”
MOFC works with a network of over 600 partner agencies to help serve 20 counties within Mid-Ohio. MOFC distributes food to local pantries, soup kitchens, etc. to directly help neighbors in need.
Victoria Brown, MOFC’s Director of Food Resource Development worked with the SWACO team and Vista Trans to make this diversion a success. Brown noted, “Mid-Ohio Food Collective is always searching for ways to get more food to more of our hungry neighbors in central and eastern Ohio, and we’re pleased when that work also prevents food waste. MOFC was excited to accept this donation of healthy produce, and we encourage other retailers and suppliers to partner with us for bulk donations like this in the future.”
Through donations and rescue of edible foods, organizations like MOFC can work towards ending hunger. Within the past year, MOFC has helped provide food for about 181,917 meals per day. From July to November 2023, MOFC distributed 36,954,785 pounds of food.
Why Does it Matter?
Every day in Central Ohio a million pounds of food is sent to the county landfill. This waste equates to landfilling 145 potential meals per resident every year. When food is wasted instead of eaten, we waste precious resources used to grow, harvest, and transport food to our dinner plates. Not to mention the missed opportunity to help nourish those with food insecurity in Central Ohio.
However, there are ways to help.
- Visit SaveMoreThanFood.org to create a plan of action to prevent food waste in your home, at your school or office.
- Make a donation to Mid-Ohio Food Collective. Please use this list of most needed items when considering what to donate.
- If you are a Central Ohio business interested in donating food or have a logistical challenge and you would like help troubleshooting, SWACO’s team members are standing by to help. Email us at [email protected], and for additional SWACO’s technical assistance information, visit SWACO.org.