Produce Rescue Center
The Produce Rescue Center at the Montgomery County Food Bank is an innovative initiative, supported by Dow’s Business Impact Fund, which advances our vision of a circular economy and addresses food waste and food insecurity. Dow collaborates with local organizations on the Produce Rescue Center, which distributes produce that would otherwise go to landfills because of imperfect appearance. Volunteers at the Houston-area center collect and sort undamaged, nutritious produce and wrap it in plastic packaging made from Dow resin, which keeps it fresh for up to 20 additional days . This added preservation time makes it possible to deliver more fresh produce to hunger relief organizations and people in need. The plastic packaging used at the Produce Rescue Center incorporates Dow’s RecycleReady Technology to ensure it is fully recyclable.
The Produce Rescue Center also keeps inedible fruit and vegetables out of landfills by sending it to a local composting facility.
Produce Rescue Center Goals
The Produce Rescue Center is an important initiative that has set out to achieve a number of goals:
- Advance a circular economy by identifying and preventing food waste with fully recyclable packaging
- Act as a blueprint for other food banks to follow, creating a nationwide ripple effect of human and environmental gains by keeping edible produce out of landfills and distributing it to those in need.
- Address food waste and insecurity with an innovative process that makes use of the power of packaging for extending the shelf life of food.
Collaboration Makes It Possible
There is no single answer to addressing food waste. That’s why the Produce Rescue Center wouldn’t be possible without the collaboration of the following organizations:
- Montgomery County Food Bank is the physical home of the Produce Rescue Center, which currently rescues an average of over 4 million pounds of produce per year. There, volunteers sort and wrap countless pieces of fruit and vegetables for people in need.
- Printpack, a flexible packaging company, utilized Dow AFFINITY™ Polyolefin Plastomers to produce the plastic wrap used by the Produce Rescue Center.
- Living Earth, a producer of organic compost, mulch and soil blends, is the compost facility where the Produce Rescue Center deposits all inedible produce so that it doesn’t end up in landfills.
- General Packaging Equipment Co., a packaging machinery manufacturer, designed equipment to quickly package the sorted produce for maximum shelf life, while still allowing for flexibility in addressing the large variety of products the food bank receives.
- Local retailers, wholesalers, growers and shippers collaborate with the Produce Rescue Center by providing produce from many of its Montgomery County locations for people in need.