Past Featured Partnership
Creative partnerships are a key part of outreach for the Fork It Over food rescue program.
Metro supports B-line, Whole Foods partnership
Collecting donated food products efficiently is a huge challenge for service organizations. While there is an abundance of food waiting to be donated, the cost of transportation often limits those donations.
The burden of collection falls on shelters and kitchens themselves, which have to put their limited financial resources and precious volunteer time into collecting donations. As a result, the amount of food donations that reach the hungry can sometimes be sporadic, unpredictable and inefficient.
One day, B-Line Sustainable Urban Delivery employee Roberto Casanueva asked if some surplus food from his delivery route could be donated to a downtown shelter. With that, the B-share program was born.
Founded in Portland in February 2009, B-Line specializes in sustainable delivery to the urban core using electric-assist, zero-emission cargo trikes. The trikes offer 55 cubic feet of eco-friendly, efficient delivery and avoid the challenges of conventional trucks and vans. B-Line leverages its existing business model and delivers food donations at a greatly reduced cost – 50 percent or less than the costs typically incurred.
B-share collects food donations from businesses within Portland’s urban core and delivers them within as little as an hour to Sisters of the Road Café, St. Francis Dining Hall and Blanchet House, saving them precious time and resources and keeping good food from going to waste.
Metro served on an informal advisory group for B-share, along with representatives from the Oregon Food Bank, Sisters of the Road Café, Andina Restaurant, The Organically Grown Company and Whole Foods.
"Our relationship with B-share is part of Metro's ongoing work with local partners to find creative ways to keep good food out of the waste stream and get it to people who need it," said Jennifer Erickson, original founder of Metro's Fork It Over food donation program.
B-Line has found a like-minded partner for its program in Whole Foods Market. Two of Whole Foods' primary core values are caring about the community and promoting healthy eating. They donate fresh, healthy produce and other foods from their Laurelhurst and Pearl locations seven days a week.
"Transporting donated food has been one of the biggest obstacles for us," said Kris Soebroto of Sisters of the Road. "B-share really provides us with great choices to offer our customers."
Because no donation is too small, food rescue agencies gain daily fresh food donations. B-share also helps the environment, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from delivery trucks and keeping good food out of landfills.
B-Line believes that business can be a catalyst for positive change. In a three-month pilot phase launched in July 2010, the B-shares program delivered more than 3,500 pounds of healthy food products to community partners. The company delivered an equivalent of 808 meals in August, more than 1,200 meals in September and 5,000 in October.