Overview: The mission of Food Circle is to safely collect excess prepared and perishable food from restaurants, caterers, delis, and other food service operations. Once recovered, this food is distributed through our store, to people in need and to non-profit agencies that serve children, families, the homeless, and senior citizens.
Prepared food is accepted from commercial food establishments only. Using sanitized containers, excess prepared food is collected at donor establishments by a driver trained in safe food handling. Donated food is briefly stored in our walk-in cooler until it is repacked into single serving meals. Meals are labeled and dated and immediately frozen for distribution.
Food recovery, or food rescue, ensures that excess prepared food goes to individuals and families in our community who are at risk of hunger and food insecurity-food that for the most part would go to waste.
The Need: Billions of pounds of food annually produced in this country ends up in landfills or is otherwise discarded. On a local level, Food Circle has made a difference over the past seven years, significantly impacting the lives of those who live in poverty through the recovery of excess food. In Montana 16% of all its residents live in poverty, food recovery is one way to ensure good food reaches those in need rather than go to waste.
Program Impact: In 2013, Food Circle recovered 91,116 pounds of prepared food from Missoula area establishments. This was enough food to provide over 60,744 meals to people in need. Prepared food recovery continues to grow as a national movement, ensuring good food goes to the dinner table rather than the garbage.
How to Apply: Interested donors can download a Food Circle Application or contact the Food Security Liaison.
Food Circle Provides free food pick up, containers needed for collecting food, staff and volunteers trained in food safety, opportunity for tax deduction, and recognition of your efforts to combat hunger. Missoula Food Bank makes food recovery convenient, safe and rewarding for you
How to Help: We are always looking for volunteers to help repackage recovered food. Download a Volunteer Application here!