"The food bank provides more than 19 million pounds of food to people in 31 counties. Of that, about 320,000 pounds are deemed unfit for human consumption, but safe for animals. Among the items, many which came in broken or badly dented packaging or cans, include oatmeal, cereal, bread, out-of-date dairy, pasta, vegetables and fruits. Volunteers sort the items, sometimes combining them to create particular feed for particular animals.
For example, one organization that helps Care and Share is Future Pointe. The local waste reuse company is a for-profit social enterprise whose mission is to provide new purpose for people and things. It works with at-risk youths from Dale House, a residential treatment center, who sort up to 6,000 pounds of nonusable food items per week at the food bank to create animal feed.
Brendan McCrann, head of Future Pointe, explains that the Dale House vocational program is wrapped around a learning curriculum, and part of that is teaching the youths work and relationship skills. Some graduates continue to work with Future Pointe, which sells animal feed to farmers.
Care and Share's Zero Waste program is a win for everyone, Poore said.
"It's good for the farmers. It's good for Dale House and it's also good for the community because it allows us to provide more food for those who are at risk of going hungry."