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The Hunger Network is rescuing food from restaurants, hotels and giving it to those in need

Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.
Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.
Posted at 9:19 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 20:26:04-04

CLEVELAND — Gallons and gallons of milk and half & half, loaded up into trunks and taken where it’s most needed. It’s called a “food rescue” done by Cleveland nonprofit The Hunger Network.

This rescue is taking place at Rising Star Coffee Roasters in Tremont. The dairy, about a week from expiration, was taken directly to the Salvation Army and put to use right away. What would have been trashed, turned into treasure.

Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.
Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.

“The thing we’ve learned is that our community and customers have been really awesome, almost daily we’ve had to make changes,” said co-owner Brandon Riggs.

If you’re a store, restaurant, or business with food that is about to expire — the Hunger Network can take it off your hands.

“We are happy to take it and place it somewhere where it will be utilized, whether its pantries, shelters, traditional housing,” said Stacy Soulimiotis, director of The Hunger Network’s Food Rescue program. News 5 profiled the app and efforts when it first launched in 2018.

The food rescues, often from grocery stores, help with getting fresh produce, baked goods, and dairy products — things in addition to the canned non-perishables we’re used to seeing handed out to help.

Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.
Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.

The charity is seeing increased need day-by-day as the coronavirus pandemic grips the world and Northeast Ohio.

Soulimiotis said the lines are getting longer every day, but they also know there are many people who are afraid to leave their homes.

Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.
Hunger Network rescues food that is about to be tossed and gives it to those in need.

But they’re also seeing, she said, the sheer amount of helpers.

“It really is heartwarming to see so many people reaching out at this time and wanting to help because they do see the need,” Soulimiotis said. “Even people who are in need are also saying, ‘How can I help?’”

The last couple of weeks have seen them getting huge rescues from hotels like the Hilton and Marriott in Cleveland, restaurants and caterers who have had to close down or cancel jobs, and loads of food from one of Northeast Ohio’s favorite taco joints — Barrio.

If you’re interested in volunteering to help rescue food, please click here.

If you’re in need, please click here.

Anyone who wants to donate food can contact Stacy at : stacy@hungernetwork.org