Natalie Jellison ’17 (left) with Chatham student Charlise Oliver ’18 on a 412 Food Rescue run. (Courtesy Photo/Chatham University/File)

During Inclusive Innovation Week, Mayor Peduto,
City Council members, city government agencies and residents aim to rescue 15,000 pounds of surplus food

PITTSBURGH, PA –The City of Pittsburgh is teaming up with 412 Food Rescue for a city-wide volunteer challenge to deliver 15,000 pounds of healthy food during Inclusive Innovation Week, March 31 – April 7th.

412 Food Rescue is a social innovation nonprofit whose mission is to prevent perfectly good food from entering the waste stream and redirect to nonprofits that serve those who are food insecure. Powered by a growing movement of over 1,000 City and County residents who volunteer to transport the food between retailers and nonprofits, 412 Food Rescue has recovered over 1.2 million pounds of food since it was founded in 2015.

“412 Food Rescue’s innovative use of technology and the dual impact of its mission on hunger and environmental sustainability embodies the goals of the City’s Resilience Strategy,” said Mayor William Peduto. “The City is looking forward to participating in the 412 Food Rescue Challenge and we invite all Pittsburghers to join us during Inclusive Innovation Week and beyond.”

Cofounder & CEO, Leah Lizarondo says the Food Rescue Challenge, “is an exciting opportunity to put a spotlight on the people who make 412 Food Rescue happen—the residents in the Pittsburgh region who have stepped up to prevent fresh food from going to landfills to providing healthy meals to residents that are food insecure. For us, the core of Inclusive Innovation is enabling all residents to take part in something that benefits us all.”

According to Michelle Sandidge, Chief Community Affairs Officer of The Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, a 412 Food Rescue partner agency, the organization has made a significant impact on hunger for its residents. “Despite major cuts to the federal SNAP program, HACP’s relatively recent collaboration with 412 Food Rescue has managed to effectively end hunger in our public housing communities. Historically, our communities have averaged 5 to 7 emergency referrals for families without food each month. Over the course of the last six months, however, HACP has received zero referrals for families without food. We attribute this dramatic success to the ongoing efforts of 412 Food Rescue.”

Mayor Peduto is scheduled to participate in a food rescue on April 4th, picking up food at Bruegger’s Bagels (531 Grant St) and delivering it to Operation Safety Net (903 Watson St, 15219.)

Several City Councilmembers including  Dan Gilman, Deborah Gross, Darlene Harris, Bruce Kraus, Daniel Lavelle, Natalia Rudiak and staff members from Corey O’Connor’s office, as well as EMS & DPW staff will be doing food rescues. Local celebrities will also be participating throughout the week.

In addition to the goal of rescuing 15,000 pounds of food, city officials hope to generate awareness, encourage more residents to download 412 Food Rescue’s mobile app–available for iPhones or Android–and participate in the 412 Food Rescue Challenge.

The rescues will be published and shared on social media. Please follow#WeInnovatePgh, the official hashtag for Inclusive Innovation Week, for coverage of food rescues and other events.

To download the mobile app and learn about other 70+, free events happening during Inclusive Innovation Week, please visit the Inclusive Innovation Week and 412 Food Rescue Challenge websites.

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