New Paltz program collects leftover food and donates it to local food pantries

The Town of New Paltz’s Food Recovery Program partnered with several local organizations in 2019 to collect leftover food to be distributed to local pantries and soup kitchens.

The Town of New Paltz’s Food Recovery Program partnered with several local organizations in 2019 to collect leftover food to be distributed to local pantries and soup kitchens. New Paltz’s Food Recovery Program has coordinated donations and volunteers to pick up excess food to keep the shelves at local food pantries full, as well as tracking associated weights. The success of the New Paltz Food Recovery program is due to the dedication of many reliable volunteers. This step to feed the hungry helped the town move up the EPA food recovery hierarchy as part of its zero waste initiative and has positioned itself to be ready for the July 2020 Ulster County Mandatory Food Scraps and Composting Law. The composting law will require anyone who generates more than two tons of food scraps per week to divert it to food recovery programs or to a compost facility. The weights will incrementally drop over the next two years to one-half ton per week. 

In 2019, the New Paltz Food Recovery Program collected over 18 tons of food. Its partners included: Timberlake Campground (donated 6,040 pounds); Sodexo of SUNY New Paltz (donated 9,900 pounds); The Bakery (donated 4,172 pounds) and Topps Friendly Market (donated 9,100 pounds). Other donations were received through the Food Insecurity Collaborative and Ulstercorp Glean Team 

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“The New Paltz Food Recovery Program expects to triple the volume of food collected and fill the pantries of Ulster County,” said Laura Petit, New Paltz Recycling Coordinator and author of the New Paltz Zero Waste Plan.