April 2021 Newsletter

Unspoken Impact

Not just food. Inspiration.

Cultivate rescued 1,037,240 pounds of food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, delivered 240,081 meals, and had a 439% growth increase in distributed food from previous years. Despite all of these numbers, sometimes it’s hard to measure all of what we do. Throughout 2021, we want to illustrate the unspoken impact Cultivate provides.

Each of these thoughtful pieces represents something valuable, yet intangible that Cultivate provides for the mouths we feed. Whether it’s hope or ambition, nothing fuels success like starting with a good meal. A well-fed child can perform better in school and just has a better day. We transform wasted food into brand new meals that will fuel tomorrow. So next time you’re having a meal, think about everything that your meal is providing you besides just nutrition. What can you achieve with the food that powers you?

We have created these 4 art pieces to illustrate the intangible value that Cultivate provides.

The New Faces of Generosity

At Cultivate Food Rescue, we have been witnesses of a highly situational and generous form of giving. With the third round of federal stimulus payments being distributed, in March, many people are deciding to donate all or a portion of their stimulus funds to local non-profits who serve vulnerable populations, seriously impacted by the pandemic.

The fact of the matter is that not everyone who receives these funds needs them in the same way. Most say that they know the funds are meant to be spent and not saved to stimulate the economy. Some say they don’t feel that they should have qualified and others state a feeling of obligation to pay it forward.
For those still considering the donation of a portion of your stimulus checks to charity, here are some ways to invest in the community that can make a difference to those most adversely affected by the pandemic and those facing an immediate financial crisis.

Support locally-owned small businesses and restaurants. They have less resilience to the economic impacts of the pandemic than the large franchises and corporations.
Give to organizations that support people who are having trouble with the provision of basic needs like utilities, rent, and medicines.
Donate goods or funds to organizations that feed food insecure individuals in your community, like food pantries, community service organizations, and Cultivate Food Rescue.
We wish to express our deep gratitude to our donors who have generously invested their stimulus funds to support our mission of fighting food insecurity through food rescue. The need has never been greater and we are proud to be on the front lines making sure that as much food as possible is not wasted and is redistributed through our frozen meal program and our food pantry network program.

Elkhart County

Nonprofit of the Year

We were honored to receive the Nonprofit of the Year Award from the Greater Elkhart Chamber of Commerce in March. Each year, this award is granted to a local nonprofit who demonstrates an innovative product or service, growth, community involvement and other unique factors.  Check out our press release here which highlights our work in Elkhart County and our many partners who make it possible:

Pantry Partnership

Pantry Network Program

“Our Clay Church Food Pantry has been incredibly blessed by our partnership with Cultivate Food Rescue. Cultivate has a tremendous heart for feeding all food insecure people in our community, from school children to senior citizens. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, it was extremely hard for us to get food through our normal channels. The stores we normally would purchase food from began to limit the number of items an individual could purchase as their own supply chain became questionable. At that same time, Jim & Randy started connecting us with many of the resources they had at their disposal.

We have been able to give our pantry guests so many things we would not have been able to do in any other way. Items like milk, bread, boxes with fresh fruits & vegetables, and proteins were delivered to us to distribute to our pantry guests. Thanks to our friends at Cultivate, our pantry has been able to serve many more food insecure families in our community!”

~Sue Zumbrun, Clay Church Food Pantry Director

Volunteer of the Month

Kathy Portolese

Volunteer Appreciation week is April 18 th -24 th , and with this being said, we want to take the time to congratulate Kathy Portolese as volunteer of the month of April! Kathy found out about Cultivate through her day job with Advanced Imaging who services our printers at Cultivate. She was intrigued by our mission and decided to start volunteering. She has been leading the Thursday evening shift for over a year now and can really get her group motivated to push out a few hundred meals. She often brings in her friends and family with her to volunteer weekly as well!

We know we can always count on Kathy to get the job done, she always comes with a smile on her face and always has a positive attitude. We appreciate her time spent here and enjoy having her as part of the Cultivate team!
If you have volunteered with Cultivate and are interested in becoming a volunteer lead, please contact shellya@cultivatefoodrescue.com

Save the Date

Taste Of Hope 2021

Please mark your calendar for Thursday evening, September 16th. We are looking forward to an evening of tailgating and fundraising outside on the island at the Century Center in South Bend. Area restaurants and catering companies will be showcasing and providing a variety of delicious food items for you to sample. Corporate sponsorships will be available at the $10,000, $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 levels. Tables of eight will be sold for $500 and individual tickets for $75.

You won’t want to miss this fun-filled event to help Cultivate in its quest to provide 6,000 meals each weekend for 1,000 food-insecure students in St. Joseph, Elkhart and Marshall counties for the 2021-22 school year. The online registration link on our website is now live! Please consider inviting friends and family to join you in supporting our 2021 Taste of Hope!

Cultivate’s April 2021 Restaurant Partner

Chicory Café

We are excited to announce our April 2021 restaurant fundraiser will be held on April 19th and 20th at Chicory Café in South Bend AND Mishawaka! Visit either location and show this Chicory Café fundraiser flyer, either as an image on your phone or a paper copy when you place your order and they will donate 20% of your check to Cultivate Food Rescue! This is available for all dine-in, carry-out, and curbside meals, as well as catering orders and gift card purchases. Check out their fabulous menu here and we’ll see you there!


Chicory Café Downtown 7:30 am-4 pm
105 E. Jefferson Blvd. #103
South Bend, IN 46601

Chicory Café Mishawaka 7:30 am-9 pm
114 W. 1st Street
Mishawaka, IN 46544

Make it Monthly