HISTORY: Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) was developed in 2011 by Caleb Phillips, Becky Higbee, Nora Lecesse, Helen Katich, and Hayden Dansky. In University of Colorado research conducted by two of BFR’s five founding members, they discovered that enough food is thrown away or otherwise wasted each day to feed everyone who goes hungry in Boulder and Broomfield Counties.
The founders reached out to local grocers and learned that much of their produce could not be donated to food banks because the food was too perishable or because of policy restrictions, which amounted to thousands of pounds of nutritious food being thrown away every day.
Together with Ideal Market, the first donor, Boulder Food Rescue developed systems that allowed them to provide direct, just-in-time delivery of perishable food, thereby helping to mitigate hunger in Boulder County, increase the access of at-risk populations to nutritious food, and ease the food budgets of local nonprofit organizations and individuals. They started by providing a meal in the park under the name Food Not Bombs. When it was discovered that their meal was the healthiest in Boulder, the organization quickly grew from 5 friends to hundreds of volunteers, picking up food 15 times a day, every day of the week, by bicycle.
Furthermore, they found that food insecurity is hidden in the cracks of the marginalized communities and there isn’t always an easy solution. In order to provide food to those who may not have access to traditional sources, they began donating fruits and vegetables to unique places that do not commonly handle food, such as low-income housing sites, elderly homes, mental health facilities, preschools, daycares, and more.