Food Recovery Partner Series
By Lisa Biordi
This article is the first in a series thanking Cupboard food recovery partners. Food recovery is a broad term that refers to salvaging food that would normally be thrown away from retailers and other sources. Food recovery is a major source of food for the Cupboard. Each week, teams of volunteers fan out across the area to pick up food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver the food to the Cupboard, where it is weighed, sorted, packaged and distributed to clients.
This month’s spotlight is on Food Lion Store #938 on Main Street in Holly Springs and Store Manager Jessica McClintock. The store has been a food recovery partner of the Cupboard since early 2015.
“We donate all possible food that may not be good enough quality for sale, but is still safe for consumption,” said McClintock, who has worked for Food Lion for 22 years and as the store manager in Holly Springs for 6 years.
“It gives me purpose and energizes me to be able to serve our community,” McClintock said. “We are proud to be a community partner with the HSFC!”
Food recovery items the Holly Springs Food Cupboard receives directly from the Holly Springs Food Lion include produce, bakery and deli items, salads, cheeses, fruit, rotisserie chicken, and more.
Holly Springs Food Cupboard volunteers Leigh Brantley, Marci Blight and Burl Chadwick pick up food recovery items from the store.
“Hunger is a silent enemy that knows no boundaries, and so I do what I can to ensure our community is taken care of,” Brantley said.
The Food Cupboard also benefits from Food Lion’s annual Hunger Has a Cure program, through which Food Lion shoppers purchase boxes of prepackaged food for Cupboard clients. The program has grown from 300 boxes several years ago to 1,200 boxes last year.
In addition to food recovery from the Holly Springs Food Lion, Cupboard volunteers shop at the store and purchase supplemental food items, such as milk, ground beef and eggs, needed for client distribution.
“Literally at 5 (p.m. on Thursday,) the process starts again for the next week,” said Holly Springs Food Cupboard Manager Susan Little, who orders the food purchased from the store. “I email a list of the eggs, milks and other things we need like meat or bread. That has to be in by Sunday morning. When I go in on Thursday, I check what produce we have and order to fill in the gaps. Jessica and Kirk (Food Lion store manager and assistant manager) are really great to work with. During COVID we have been in close contact with them in trying to secure items. They too believe in our mission and support us.”
Cupboard volunteers Jeff and Mary Tucker with a team from Kirk of Holly Springs Presbyterian Church pick up the purchased items from the store.
Jeff said the team “sees the Food Cupboard volunteer program as a way to demonstrate God’s love and involvement to the community. Volunteering is our way of putting our faith in action for the greater good of the community.”
Thank you, Jessica McClintock, Food Lion #938 and all our volunteers. The Cupboard could not fulfill its mission without you.