15. Cambridge Prepared Food Rescue Freezer Van

Committee: Environment, Health & Safety

Cost: $48,000

Location: Citywide

Short Description: Let’s feed the hungry in our city. A freezer van is the vital piece of equipment that would allow Cambridge and its partners to potentially double prepared food rescue deliveries from roughly 3,500 healthy frozen meals to 7,000 each week.


Long Description: There are many in the Cambridge community who would benefit from access to healthy prepared frozen meals. These individuals and families may not have access to a kitchen, may be homeless, working multiple jobs with no time to cook for their families, or experiencing other barriers that make cooking healthy meals challenging. Through the Participatory Budgeting process, we heard your request for no one to go hungry in our city!

With access to a freezer van, the city can potentially double the number of healthy frozen meals made available through prepared food rescue. A freezer van is the essential piece of equipment to grow and sustain prepared food rescue. With the proper equipment, by 2016 the Cambridge Prepared Food Rescue Project has the potential to be distributing over 7,000 healthy frozen meals per week to those in need.

On October 1, 2014, Massachusetts implemented a commercial food waste ban, prohibiting the disposal of large quantities of food waste via the municipal waste stream. This is an exciting opportunity to expand prepared food rescue, getting healthy prepared meals to those who need them most while decreasing the amount of food waste in the waste stream, as now required by state law. Cambridge can be the model for implementing the state food waste ban in a manner that redistributes edible food surplus back into the community and makes sure no one goes hungry in our city.


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