The Food Rescue Alliance started in 2014 in order to provide open source resources and consultation for other food rescues.
As a branch organization of Boulder Food Rescue, the Food Rescue Alliance grew out of a need to support new groups adopting Boulder Food Rescue’s bike-powered food redistribution model.
Helen Katich, a former Boulder Food Rescue coordinator and one of the founders of Seattle Food Rescue, serves as the Project Manager of the Food Rescue Alliance.
Helen’s most recent project for the Alliance is cultivating its peer learning network for food rescue organizations from Wyoming to Washington to dialogue and seek support from one another.
“We work with different individuals and organizations across the country and provide personalized consulting and one-on one-meetings, giving them both support and resources along the way,” said Katich.
Katich helps new and existing food rescues access important resources and expert consulting by facilitating conversations and connecting groups with one another.
From sharing examples of nonprofit budgets to hosting workshops about volunteer retention, the central purpose of the Alliance is to support the development of each food rescue and address its unique, place-based strengths and challenges.
“A really big part worth noting is that the FRA is not trying to homogenize any program. A big part of what we continue to learn, value, and celebrate is how diverse each one of our programs are. Seattle Food Rescue is so different from Jackson Hole Food Rescue. All have resources and ideas to share with one another,” said Katich.
The Alliance’s peer learning network gained much of its momentum during the Forward Food Summit hosted by Boulder Food Rescue this April. During the second day of the conference, various food rescues convened to discuss different visions, needs, and strategies for building the peer learning network.
Shane Lory, a founder of Colorado Springs Food Rescue, attended the peer learning network workshop and expressed appreciation for the opportunity to work with other bike-powered food rescues.
“I think was a really awesome experience at the Forward Food Summit, getting all the food rescues together in the same room. It’s really exciting to see how this movement is spreading and I really hope it continues to do so,” said Lory.
In July, Boulder Food Rescue and Denver Food Rescue hosted a workshop for FRA members about building participatory structures and cultivating non-oppressive communication in their rescue’s operations.
Within the role of Project Manager, Helen said that her most favorite aspect of the job is the inspiration the group brings, “It really nice to be able to talk to really inspiring people all the time. All of my conversations are with people who are interested in creating a more equitable system and reducing waste, and working really, really, hard to do so.”
Expanding on this gratitude, Helen also expressed she loves working with Hana Danksy, the Executive Director of Boulder Food Rescue. “She is a really dedicated and fantastic leader in our community, so I feel really honored to be working in collaboration with Hana after all these years.”
For more information, please visit Boulder Food Rescue’s Food Rescue Allliance webpage.