New program gives unused food from Isotopes Park to food bank

Posted at: 06/16/2014 11:51 AM
Updated at: 06/16/2014 11:53 AM
By: Kristen Garcia,

Several local organizations are being recognized for a program that facilitates donations of large amounts of untouched food for those who are hungry in the community.

Often times following special events, this food would have been left unused or wasted.

The new program is made possible by partnerships between Ovations Food Services of Isotopes Park, Roadrunner Food Bank, Noon Day Ministries, St. Martin's Hospitality Center and Joy Junction.

"We are pleased to be a partner in this initiative which serves some of the most vulnerable folks in our community by connecting those who are hungry with food," Mayor Richard J. Berry said.  "I commend the efforts of all involved."

The prepared food rescue pilot program began at the 2013 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The program is overseen by the Environmental Health Supervisor to ensure that proper food safety is being met. The partners work together to look for suitable events where large amounts of food could potentially go to waste.

"I kept seeing these events being organized where a lot of food was going to be prepared, and in many cases hundreds of pounds wouldn’t end up being used.  It just seemed like such a shame to see it go to waste,” said Theresa Alling, the Environmental Health Supervisor.

The program continues to expand by adding several special events such as Renaissance Festival, and most of the Isotopes baseball games. The Environmental Health Department and Roadrunner Food Bank estimate 11,163 pounds of food has been recovered, feeding an estimated 9,302 meals to hungry people throughout the community.

Berry stated the food from the upcoming Freedom Fourth event will also be available for donation.