Community Food Response honors its volunteers

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(ABC 6 News) – Community Food Response in Rochester has been serving people in need since 1993, through the help of local businesses and community members.

“We have a dual mission. One half is to rescue edible food, keeping it out of our waste stream locally and the second half is to feed people who need it,” said CFR Board president Jeanne Thorson.

Most organizations that help fight hunger operate like a normal food shelf, but the way CFR does it, makes them unique. Though they accept shelf stable food, their goal is to provide ready to eat perishable food from places like hospitals, restaurants and grocery stores.

“Anybody with institutional kitchens who’s likely to have left over food, we can come and pick that food up three days a week. And then we bring it here, and we pass it out same day to everyone who comes,” said Thorson.

On Saturday CFR hosted their annual volunteer appreciation event.

One volunteer Mary said, “I just like to volunteer, and I know we have so many needs here in Rochester.

Another volunteer Carol said, “I’ve been volunteering for most of my adult life, and so this is a place where I can volunteer and really make a difference.”

Organizers said it’s not just homeless people that struggle with hunger. Many working class families are also reaching out for help
In Olmsted County 1/9 people and 1/7 children battle food insecurity.

As the nation recovers from the pandemic and battles high inflation CFR has seen an increase amount of clients.

“I mean there are people working day by day, trying to get by and struggling and it’s everyday people you run into,” said CFR Board Member Wendy Sempf.

With increased business CFR is in need for more volunteers. The purpose of Saturday’s event was not just to show appreciation to the current volunteers, but to recruit new ones as well. They has volunteer fair to acquaint people with CFR members and inform them on how they can help out.

For more information on how to donate and how to get involved click here.