Food Rescue Conference 2022 Recap

By November 14, 2022November 15th, 2022Article

We are THRILLED to have been the hosting city for the first national Food Rescue Conference. What an amazing experience to strengthen and reenergize each other at this landmark event created specifically for food recovery organizers!

From every angle we were blown away:   
  • An incredible line-up of panel sessions & speakers
  • Hundreds of food recovery professionals, leaders, visionaries and volunteers who tuned in
  • Collaborative discussions that revealed insight & ideas
  • Collective feeling of empowerment and resolve to keep working on revolutionizing our food systems through food rescue.

A massive shout out to the team at Food Rescue Hero for presenting this incredible conference that has given all attendees — virtually and in person — the opportunity to explore what’s possible when we shift the focus from food waste to innovative food recovery solutions and impact.

At 412 Food Rescue, we felt honored to get the chance to host the first national Food Rescue Conference right here in Pittsburgh. What an opportunity it afforded us to get an up-close and personal view into the future of food dignity, equity and access.

So many amazing companies and organizations contributed to the overwhelming success of our two-day landmark event, including Giant Eagle, Inc.Kroger, and Food Donation Connection.
Along with UPMCCLANEIL FOUNDATION INCPosner Foundation of PittsburghCignaEat’n Park Hospitality GroupMillie’s HomemadeHelltown Brewing and Rivertowne Brewing CompanyHop Farm Brewing CoWheyward Spirit, and Bash Brew.

We are so grateful for our Pittsburgh media partners, Pittsburgh City Paper and PublicSource, as well as welcome our colleagues at Waste360 –  together, they covered the conference as media sponsors of this event.

But most of all, we need to recognize the tireless and incredible work contributed by our volunteers. From greeting guests, to putting materials into each workspace, to washing dishes, our team of volunteers fueled our conference as only true Food Rescue Heroes can. Thank you!

One of the highlights of the conference came from the enlightening panel, ”The Symbiotic Relationship Between Food Recovery and Upcycling,” and insights shared by Wheyward Spirit’s CEO Emily Darchuk, whose “wayward mentality—doing things differently for the right reasons” makes a delicious difference!

“Whey is the liquid co-product of cheese and other dairy products – when making cheese, 10% of the milk becomes cheese and 90% becomes whey. While some of this high-quality whey gets used in other food products, hundreds of billions of pounds leave the food chain as waste. Wheyward Spirits helps break that cycle by giving whey its highest and best use.”

Click for more on Wheyward Spirit’s Upcycling

Plus getting the chance to hear from industry leaders and colleagues, such as Annamarie Scozzare and her unique perspective in tech and healthcare, made a lasting impression for us all.

And our opening panel, moderated by Victoria Della Rocca, with panelists Erin Arnold BSN, RN, CCM, Joanie Risbano, David Morris and Joan Eichner on Transforming Communities Through Food Rescue, spotlighted the unique role food recovery can play in countering negative outcomes facing our nutrition insecure neighbors.

When we work together to find ways to bring nutritious food within reach, as presented by Leland Scales, we truly can change the trajectory of the health of a community.

Which may be why the closing keynote, Clancy Harrison MS, RDN, FAND brought the conference to a close with such fitting remarks, rounding out all of the themes present in her organization, the Food Dignity Movement. She graced us with a compelling call to action to take our important work a step further by considering and growing operations to include food dignity.

It was gratifying to identify new collaborations between speakers, food recovery organizations and stakeholders, including our sponsor Food Donation Connection, with insights from Steve Diet, David Sink.

We’re inspired, recharged, and ready to feed people, not landfills.

We Are. Food Rescue.