412 Food Rescue Expands Ugly CSA

By July 5, 2017August 4th, 2022Article, Press Release
CONTACT: Leah Lizarondo | 412-329-8889 | media@412foodrescue.org

412 Food Rescue Expands The Ugly CSA – Increases Environmental Impact 5X

The UglyCSA  creates a new market for unsellable but perfectly good produce. The expanded CSA program will save at least 204,000 gallons of water resources used to grow the produce, providing enough drinking water for over 1,100  people for a whole year.

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (06/30/2016) – 412 Food Rescue, an organization leading the effort to prevent viable food from entering the waste stream and Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance, a farmer-owned cooperative in Southwestern Pennsylvania with one of the largest CSA networks in the region today announces the launch of Season 2 of The Ugly CSA–the region’s first Community Supported Agriculture Program that utilizes vegetables and fruits that do not meet traditional cosmetic standards and creates a new market for unsellable but perfectly good produce.

This program is  response to the fact that every year, 20% of produce is rejected from grocery stores due to their imperfect appearance. Over 6 billion tons of fruits and vegetables are unharvested each year for the very same reason. However, rejected produce shows no difference in taste and have the same nutrients as those that are harvested and sold.

“Over the last two years, awareness for food waste has grown significantly and consumers are looking for ways to support the fight against food waste. There is a huge demand for ugly produce and last year, our Ugly CSA sold out in one day,” says Leah Lizarondo, 412 Food Rescue co-founder and CEO.

According to ReFed, food unharvested at farms represent 10% of all food that is wasted. “Food waste does not only impact our environment when it gets to landfills,” says Lizarondo. “It impacts our environment because we waste the resources that went into producing it. Food waste represents up to 20% of all our freshwater use–this is criminal when we know that many lack access to safe drinking water.”

Based on last year’s numbers, each subscriber of our Ugly CSA will save 1,700 gallons of fresh water — enough drinking water for 10 people for a whole year. Collectively, the program ensures that the 204,000 gallons of water required to grow the produce does not go to waste–that is enough water for 1,118 people for a whole year.

To date, 412 Food Rescue has redirected over 1.5 million pounds of perfectly good food from going to landfills. The organization works with over 250 food retailers, 300 nonprofit partners and over 1500 volunteers.

“This year, we are expanding the Ugly CSA,” says Hana Uman, 412 Food Rescue Program Manager. “We are releasing 120 shares and the program will run for 12 weeks from August and October, with four drop sites all over the city. More importantly, this year, our CSA is SNAP-eligible. This is something that was important for us–to ensure that everyone has access to this program.”

Through this unique CSA, subscribers will receive boxes of perfectly tasting, seasonal produce that may not look perfect. The Ugly CSA aims to encourage consumers to focus on the taste of produce rather than appearance. This in turn encourages farmers to harvest and sell fruits and vegetables that would otherwise be left unharvested.

The Ugly CSA provides benefits for both subscribers and farmers. Subscribers will save 30% off compared to the leading CSA programs in the Pittsburgh region. They will also have the opportunity to promote social responsibility through a program that directly relates to reducing food waste and growing the local economy. In addition, farmers have the opportunity to earn additional income on produce that they would otherwise not sell.

For more information, https://412foodrescue.org/programs/ugly-csa/ugly-csa-sign-ups/.

About 412 Food Rescue

412 Food Rescue launched in March 2015 to address the disconnect between the fact that 40 percent of food produced in the United States is wasted while one in seven go hungry. 412 Food Rescue’s unique approach takes the problem through the lens of an urban food system, impacting waste at each stage of the food supply value chain. Utilizing technology to solve the logistics challenge of retail food recovery, 412 Food Rescue is the only organization in Allegheny County that focuses on food that would otherwise be discarded, impacting not only hunger but also the environment. 412 Food Rescue’s goal is to introduce innovative solutions to eradicate food waste in the region and expand its model to cities around the country. To date, 412 Food Rescue has redirected over 1.5 million pounds of perfectly good food from going to landfills. The organization works with over 250 food retailers, 300 nonprofit partners and over 1400 volunteer drivers, our Food Rescue Heroes.

About Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance

Penn’s Corner Farm Alliance is a 30 farm, farmer-owned cooperative in Southwestern Pennsylvania delivering quality and farm fresh fruits and vegetables to customers and restaurants. This unique collaboration between the two groups enables them to advance both their missions of food rescue and providing farm fresh produce with a sustainable rate of return for farmers.