Eat Down the Fridge, and Other Tips from DIVE! Panelists

September 16th, 2011 § 1 comment

Yesterday as part of Hunger Action Month, we screened the movie DIVE! Living off America’s Waste at the Blanton Museum to a sold-out crowd. Thank you to everyone who joined us for the event including our panel guests. View photos of this event.

Don’t forget to fill out and send your advocacy cards to us. We’ll send the cards to your representative in Congress. Also, be sure to look for the “Good Food on My Plate” business card with a special link to our Hunger Action Month digital cookbook. (You may also get the cookbook when you donate online.)

Our panel guests touched on a wide-range of themes and topics. Some of the big takeaways:

Jeremy Siefert, DIVE! filmmaker, says “eat down the fridge” to help reduce food waste at home. That older carrot that’s starting to bend over will taste just fine pureed in a soup.

Hank Perret, CAFB President & CEO, shared the sobering truth about food safety and how one mistake can be devastating to the Food Bank. “If a four year old dies because of food from us, it can shut us down… people could lose faith in the Food Bank” Food safety is also about maintaining the community’s trust in our services. He also encouraged people to take their own journey to understand hunger and food rescue by volunteering, donating and advocating throughout the year with the Food Bank.

Have we become so accustomed to hunger in our society that the idea of ending hunger seems out of reach? Does ending hunger also require a paradigm shift within our society? Elizabeth Engelhardt, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of American Studies and author of “Republic of Barbecue: Stories Beyond the Brisket”, provided historical context to the hunger crisis in America. “There has never been a period in American history when people were not hungry,” she shared.

Thankfully, the Austin community has taken great steps to curb food waste. CAFB’s food rescue partners including H-E-B, Whole Foods, Walmart, Target, Sam’s and Costco, allowed the Food Bank to rescue 4.3 million pounds of food last year alone. Ronda Rutledge City of Austin Sustainable Food Policy Board member and Executive Director of the Sustainable Food Center shared the board’s accomplishments in reducing food waste and ensuring access to healthy affordable local food. You can learn more about this board and sign up for email alerts by visiting the city’s website. Fellow board member, Brandi Clark-Burton shared initiatives set forth by the board’s Food Surplus and Salvage Working Group. Stay tuned for a catalog and map of business that will allow community members and nonprofits to identify salvage opportunities. For more details, check out her blog.

A special thank you goes to Monica Williams, Founding Editor, GivingCity Austin, for moderating and leading the panel discussion. “Here’s your call to action,” she said, “The Blanton is accepting food donations until the end of September, and you get $1 off admission with each donation. The Food Bank and Sustainable Food Center offer great volunteer opportunities and could really use your help. And… clean your plate.”

Did you feel inspired? Overwhelmed? Comment below or take our poll on Facebook.

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§ One Response to Eat Down the Fridge, and Other Tips from DIVE! Panelists

  • Linda says:

    I do feel inspired and have been eating down my fridge ever since watching this documentary. Thank you for hosting such an educational and compelling event.

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