What is Food Share?
Our new Food Share phone app is not replacing the work we have done for more than twenty years. Food Share will allow us to work with nearly 2,000 smaller restaurants in the Birmingham area, engage an entirely new group of volunteer Food Runners, and significantly expand our mission in a very cost effective way. It also means that we can support many more agencies than we have in the past. Here is how it works:
How Can I Donate Food?
When a restaurant, grocery store, farm, or corporation has surplus food to donate, they submit a request for a food pickup using our Food Share phone app. By setting preferences, Food Share locates a matching recipient organization within seconds. Food Donors can even designate a specific agency they want to support. The phone app includes reporting tools that allow the Food Donor to track their efforts and provide a receipt for a tax deduction. Unfortunately, individuals cannot donate food at this time.
How Can I Become a Volunteer Food Runner?
Food Share allows the donation and delivery to happen automatically, with staff available to address any questions or problems that might arise. When Food Runner volunteers sign up, they can choose the distance, time of day, vehicle capacity, and other variables. They will only receive notification of deliveries that meet their criteria. Food Runners will also receive a record of miles driven for tax purposes, and volunteer hours for students that have community service requirements at their college. Magic City Harvest receives a report that allows us to measure our progress. Additional phone app features will provide food safety training and background check registration.
How Can I Become a Partner Agency / Receive Food?
None of this can happen without the work the our Partner Agencies do for the people in our community. Magic City Harvest will help Partner Agencies through the registration process, allowing us to better understand their needs. We have also identified new Partner Agencies that were too small for us to support in the past. Reporting tools let Magic City Harvest track the impact we have by Partner Agency, and provide an opportunity for them to thank the Food Donors that made meals possible.
The Food Share phone app will match the food donation based on the information provided by our Partner Agencies, and assigns donations to them in a way that is fair to everyone. A staff person or volunteer will be contacting each Partner Agency to ask for the information we need. Magic City Harvest will also host several meetings at our facility to explain more about how the new system will work, and help Partner Agencies register. Not everyone has a smart phone. Food Share will also be available through a web site, and notifications can be received by email and text. We will work together to find the best way to communicate. Not having a smart phone will not affect the amount of food received.
Magic City Harvest needs help getting everything ready for the expected launch in December. Please contact David Arias at 205-757-1533 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you know of someone interested in volunteering. We have also provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions.