The first step in organizing to approach possible food sources is to make a packet of integral information. We included our contact information, then our non-profit tax exemption form, then a brief break down of food banks and food rescue programs that lays out the protection and liability issues as well as tax benefits in donating food, and the Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (public law that protects non-profit organization and their donators). The Packets are the best way to be professional when dealing with restaurants cafe's, cafeterias etc. It is an easy reference for the donators questions/ concerns they may have in deciding whether or not to donate.
So today was about gathering food sources to revamp the Beverly Food not Bombs chapter. We went to 'What's Brewing' Cafe, 'Henry's Market', 'The Daily Bagel' (open Mon-Fri), Endicott College Cafeteria, and The Beverly Hospital Cafeteria.
At 'What's Brewing Cafe' we spoke to the father and son owners, and we asked them if they would like to donate when food to a non-profit organization. They were interested, and said that they would call when they had extra food at the end of each day (note learned: small business maintain a tight budget in inventory for their daily food sales, thus they might not always have food)
After the Cafe, we went to 'Henry's Market'. We learned that they already donate to the local food banks, specifically the Beverly Bootstraps. But we gave them our information to give to owner. Beverly Bootstraps is a food pantry that has long since established its self with many local food sources. Our jobs specifically in Beverly is to find the businesses they have not yet associated with, and make use of them. Beverly is one of the few places that has a lot of food shelters in the area looking to help people in need.
The next place was a cafe in the Cummings Center called 'The Daily Bagel', we got there and it was closed. (note learned: in addition to looking up the location and the context of a business, also look up when they are open. Today was SAT, the are only open week days.
We then decided to go check out Endicott's Cafeteria to see if they had a surplus to food that they get rid of regularly. It turns out they did, but they already donate to the River House ( a local food bank/ shelter that we are going to be donating to). But we did get the name and number of the manager, and the times when he would be in. We gave them our information packet.
Finally we went to The Beverly Hospital and talked to the patient services manager, Steve Jensen of the Hospital. He works for a company called Unidine that is separate from the hospital. Unidine is a food services company. Steve was very interested in our proposal, he was glad that we had the legality stuff handy, and he gave us his card. It is exciting to talk to someone that has some authority over the business decisions. (note learned: Looking for donators would most likely be more successful during the week, than on a weekend, because the business may be busy, and the managers might not be there.)
Next friday we are planning to look for more businesses. Erik and Kathleen are going to type up a letter for larger companies like, Stop n Shop, Shaw's and Market Basket.