Our Retail Partnership Program (RPP) ensures the availability of healthy produce to our partner agencies throughout our entire service area. With the protection provided by the Food Donation Act of 1996, grocery stores can offer usable goods to the Food Bank for distribution to people in need. Unsold fresh fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats, and cheeses that are pulled from the shelves each day are donated rather than thrown away.
Currently, the Food Bank’s RPP includes more than 50 stores that make regular donations of quality, nutritious food which is then distributed throughout our network. Long-time donor Wegmans has been joined by Hannaford, Tops, Walmart, BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Target, Trader Joe’s, Costco, and most recently Price Chopper. The combined effect has been significant. In 2010, the Food Bank received 1.9 million pounds of donated food from our retail partners. That number has climbed steadily each year, nearing 3.4 million pounds of food in 2014.
Fresh fruits and vegetables are highly desired items for agencies and clients alike and the Food Bank continues to rise to the challenge. To meet that demand, our trucks travel throughout the region gathering donations of perishable goods from area grocery stores for immediate distribution; a system that keeps donations in the area of their origin and allows for produce and dairy items to go from the store shelf to the dinner table of a family in the same day.