Spoilage and Produce
Mobile Pantries have become one of our favorite ways to distribute fresh fruits and vegetables to those in need. It's always our goal to send the best possible variety and quality product to our agencies. When you're dealing with fresh products, you may have some items that are not at the peak of perfection and things you don't feel good about handing out. As an organization, we never want you to give out product you find questionable or sub-par.
However, it is important to know that most of the produce we have to offer is donated to us. It comes from many places but often it comes to us because it is excess items from the harvest. We call these items "Number Twos." This is because it is their second chance to be distributed to people in need. When you deal with number twos, it's not going to be the grade that you get at the store. It was donated to us because it's not perfect. Many times, it's because the fruit is larger than normal or the vegetables are an odd shape. There's nothing wrong with their quality, they just aren't as "pretty."
The produce will often look different than what you would find at the grocery store. if you have lettuce that is slightly wilted or apples that are bruised, that is completely normal and nothing that should alarm you. However, if the produce is moldy or leeching, please don't hand out the product. We never want a client to get bad food or an agency to feel forced to hand it out. In these situations, we sugguest that you set it aside, take photos of the product and email them to us so we can adjust your invoice so send you additional pounds in the future.
On a 5,000 pound mobile, it is completely normal to have 50-100 pounds of food waste.