Arlington Celebrates 100 Years and Grants DeAnne Dupont, Citizen of the Year Award
Here’s The Story Behind Food Link
Food Link, a food rescue organization based in Arlington, was co-founded by DeAnne Dupont and Julie Kremer. Their drive to open Food Link originated with the realization that good food was getting wasted and thrown out at the end of the day, specifically, Panera Bread was not always able to find a home for its ‘leftover’ baked goods. One receipt of a desserts donation to Minuteman High School Parent Association multiplied to routine collections of bread from local Panera Bread Cafes and deliveries to low-income housing facilities in Arlington and students at Bunker Hill. The latter comprised of students who do not have the means to purchase enough food, because when money is tight “it is often the food that gives.”
In June 2012, Trader Joe’s became a large supplier to Food Link’s source of rescued food, which triggered their need to determine the best avenue for perishables. Four housing facilities, including three senior housing as well as a families’ facility, became recipients of the “soon-to-reach code-stamped” produce, bread and meat. Whole Foods Arlington and Medford started to rely on Food Link as the recipient of their donations. Food Link distributes 60-70% of their collections through Arlington programs and agencies and the other 30-40% feeds folks served by social service agencies in nearby communities. A total of 1,000 pounds a day passes through their operations. And an admirable 3,000 to 6,000 pounds of healthy, tasty food lands on the shelves of the Arlington Food Pantry each month to nourish low-income residents of Arlington.
Quick growth. Effective operations. 5,000 people served. Thank you, Food Link. DeAnne Dupont – Citizen of the Year – well-deserved.