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What a THRILL it was to have been presenting sponsor of the first national Food Rescue Conference. What started as a vision became an awesome reality, which has proven to strengthen and reenergize stakeholders around the world, who support, advocate and work in the food recovery world! From every angle we were blown away by this landmark event:

  • An incredible line-up of panel sessions & speakers

  • Hundreds of food recovery professionals, leaders, visionaries and volunteers who tuned in

  • Collaborative discussions that revealed insight & ideas

  • Collective feeling of empowerment and resolve to keep working on revolutionizing our food systems through food rescue.

A massive shout out to our Food Rescue Hero Network for pitching in to create memorable moments as we explored what’s possible when we shift the focus from food waste to innovative food recovery solutions and impact. Truly we are making real strides toward a future of food dignity, equity and access.

Our collaborative community keeps growing and we feel gratified to have so many amazing companies and organizations contributed to the overwhelming success of our two-day landmark event, including Giant Eagle, Inc., Kroger, and Food Donation Connection.

Along with UPMC, CLANEIL FOUNDATION INC, Posner Foundation of Pittsburgh, Cigna, Eat’n Park Hospitality Group, PNC, Millie’s Homemade, Helltown Brewing and Rivertowne Brewing Company, Hop Farm Brewing Co, Wheyward Spirit, and Bash Brew. We are so grateful for media sponsors, Pittsburgh City Paper and PublicSource, and Waste360.

No one will forget the dynamic conversation between panelists in the Multisector Partnerships: Unleash the Power of Corporate Partners session, featuring Cigna and the Musicians of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, who brought to life what can happen when leaders in the arts, healthcare and the Fortune 500 align with the unique benefits food recovery offers to create real data-aligned community impact with professional skills at the highest level.

One of the highlights of the conference came from the enlightening panel, ”The Symbiotic Relationship Between Food Recovery and Upcycling,” and insights shared by Wheyward Spirit’s CEO Emily Darchuk, whose “wayward mentality—doing things differently for the right reasons” makes a delicious difference!

“Whey is the liquid co-product of cheese and other dairy products – when making cheese, 10% of the milk becomes cheese and 90% becomes whey. While some of this high-quality whey gets used in other food products, hundreds of billions of pounds leave the food chain as waste. Wheyward Spirits helps break that cycle by giving whey its highest and best use.”

The conference kicked off with eye-opening data on the social determinants of health, to immediately spark a dialogue for the distinctive role food recovery plays in countering negative outcomes facing our nutrition insecure neighbors. Moderated by Victoria Della Rocca, with panelists Erin Arnold BSN, RN, CCM, Joanie Risbano, David Morris and Joan Eichner the possibility for Transforming Communities Through Food Rescue became a focal point, with the unique role food recovery can play at the center.

Leland Scales furthered these points with evidence that we can bring nutritious food within reach and truly can change the trajectory of the health of a community. Getting the chance to hear from industry leaders and colleagues like Leland and Annamarie Scozzare and to hear their unique perspectives in the non-profit sector, tech and healthcare, truly made a lasting impression.

Which may be why the closing keynote, Clancy Harrison MS, RDN, FAND brought the conference to a close with such fitting remarks, rounding out all of the themes present in her organization, the Food Dignity Movement. She graced us with a compelling call to action to take our important work a step further by considering and growing operations to include food dignity.

It was gratifying to identify new collaborations between speakers, food recovery organizations and stakeholders, including our sponsor Food Donation Connection, with insights from Steve Diet, David Sink.

We’re inspired, recharged, and ready to feed people, not landfills.

We Are. Food Rescue.