One of the goals at FoCo Cafe is to use resources wisely, especially food. It is estimated that 40 percent of food in the United States goes uneaten. This not only means that Americans are throwing out the equivalent of $165 billion each year, but also that the uneaten food ends up rotting in landfills as the single largest component of municipal solid waste. Reducing American food waste by 15 percent would be enough food to feed more than 25 million people every year at a time when one in six Americans lack a secure supply of food.

Rebecca Gregori, a Cafe volunteer and local high school teacher, was inspired to tackle this problem. She asked herself, “How can we get wasted food in Fort Collins to people who are hungry?” Becky was able to raise funds to purchase an energy-efficient refrigeration unit that is available on the Cafe’s patio – the FoCo Freedge. The Freedge is located on the Cafe’s patio during our open hours and serves as a resource for the community.

Community members keep the FoCo Freedge stocked when they drop off excess produce that they fear might be wasted. Many bring produce from their gardens, some bring items that they purchased at the grocery and are unable to use, and people headed off on a vacation drop off produce they fear will go to waste while they are away. Staff at FoCo Cafe restock the Freedge on a daily basis, so donated foods in danger of becoming food waste get back into our community.

The Freedge encourages community members to cook and to try new ingredients. Foods in the FoCo Freedge are available to all people who are able to put that food to good use. Stop by FoCo Cafe and grab some fresh produce free of charge to make a deliciously healthy snack or meal.

Works Cited: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/wasted-food-IP.pdf