Providing Food to the Most Vulnerable in Our Community
Cultivate is devoted to ending the cycle of hunger in the local communities of northern Indiana by providing a food rescue service.
No neighbor hungry,
no food wasted.
This is the vision at Cultivate Food Rescue. We work to reduce hunger and food waste in northern Indiana by recovering excess, quality food and redistributing it to school children, food pantries, shelters, and more. Through strategic partnerships, we are a leader in perishable food rescue, procurement, redistribution, and education in order to meet the nutritional needs of communities.
With our roots in culinary training, we know very well how food changes lives. After opening our doors in 2016, we quickly realized that we would have a lasting impact by doing our best to alleviate hunger in our community. Even further, we could do this by simply redistributing food that was ALREADY IN our community.
Strategic partnerships lead to an immediate impact.
The University of Notre Dame reached out to us as part of their sustainability and environmental initiatives and then we partnered with several other restaurants and caterers in the area. It became immediately clear that our work was making an impact.
In our first year of food rescue, we rescued 42,300 pounds of food. Within five years, that amount multiplied 34 TIMES to 1.43 Million pounds of food. We have an ambitious goal to expand that to 20 million pounds in the next ten years.
Why do we do what we do?
40% of the U.S. food supply is wasted.
The environmental impact of this wastefulness is devastating.
The majority of this food is still fresh and delicious. So why would it be thrown out? It may be fresh produce that is simply not the perfect shape for retail consumers.
It may be excess food that was prepared for a large catered event that wasn’t served. It may just be a product that doesn’t sell well and the local grocery store needs the shelf space.
We believe the logical approach is to rescue the food to feed those who need it to be good stewards of our resources and promote sustainability.
133 billion pounds of food is wasted in the USA each year.
That means wasted resources going straight into landfills. Additionally, once in landfills, this food gives off methane gas which has long-term environmental effects.
We’re not letting that happen in our community! We’re rescuing over one million pounds of food each year, cooking it, packaging it, freezing it and feeding people instead of watching our neighbors go hungry.
13% of our neighbors face food insecurity.
We have enough excess food in our community to feed each of these hungry people. This is what we strive to do. Through our Backpack Program, children in school districts across St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall Counties take home six frozen meals each Friday to keep their bellies full over the weekend.
Our Cultivate Cares Food Network, partners with local pantries to keep their shelves stocked with perishable, healthy items, all free of charge to them.
People living in poverty in our tri-county area
Students on free and reduced lunches in the tri-county area
Today, the need is much greater than when we started.
But so too is our resolve and the partnerships that we have forged. A top-notch staff and board, a community of volunteers, food donors, pantry partners, schools, corporate sponsors, and individual donors means we have amassed an army of support.
Each one is integral to the success of our vision. Will you join us?
We’re committed to the mission:
No Neighbor Hungry,
No Food Wasted.
Join the Cause!
As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, volunteers are our lifeblood. Volunteers pack meals, drive trucks, cook food, wash dishes, and promote our work across the community. If making a measurable impact on the lives of people in our community sounds like something you want to be a part of, sign up to volunteer. We’d love to have you join the Cultivate Family!
Are you looking to make financial donations to a community non-profit? We’d love to show you where your donations go, how they are used, and who they impact. Our donors range from individuals to corporations and each one makes a huge impact. Ready to make a financial gift? Start here! Your donations (big or small) truly matter.