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Organization DBA Food For Free
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years No

Summary

Mission StatementMORE »

Food For Free responds to local hunger by rescuing fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributing it within the emergency food system where it can reach those who need it.

Mission Statement

Food For Free responds to local hunger by rescuing fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributing it within the emergency food system where it can reach those who need it.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2016
Projected Income $708,000.00
Projected Expense $708,000.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Field of Greens
  • Home Delivery
  • Prepared Foods Rescue
  • Produce Rescue
  • Transportation Partnership

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Food For Free responds to local hunger by rescuing fresh food that might otherwise go to waste and distributing it within the emergency food system where it can reach those who need it.

Background Statement

For 34 years, Food For Free has worked with businesses, non-profits, and local government to recapture food that would otherwise go to waste and get it to those at risk for hunger. Our programs create community-wide access to fresh, nutritious food.

Food For Free was created in 1981 when a group of Cambridge residents realized that local food programs had bare shelves, while nearby grocery stores were throwing food away. These volunteers began rescuing surplus food and distributing it to food pantries and other programs. Food For Free was incorporated in 1983 and received 501(c)(3) status in 1985.

Produce Rescue and Distribution remains our largest program, rescuing nearly 1.5 million pounds of food a year and distributing this food to more than 100 food programs in twelve Greater Boston cities.

In 2014, we launched our Prepared Foods Rescue Program to respond to the opportunity created by the Massachusetts Food Waste Ban. Through this program, we expect to collect an additional 100,000 pounds of prepared food over the coming year.

Together, these two food rescue programs will distribute 1.6 million pounds of food in 2015 and help to feed over 25,000 people. Their work is augmented by three other programs.

The Transportation Partnership picks up food from the Greater Boston Food Bank and delivers it to twelve food programs that lack their own transportation. In 2014, it moved 868,000 pounds of food.

Launched in 2002, Home Delivery brings food to 90-100 low-income seniors and people with disabilities each month.

Field of Greens uses borrowed land, volunteer labor, and organic methods to harvest nutrient-dense crops for distribution to food programs.


Impact Statement

In the year ending June 30, 2015, Food For Free:

1. Distributed 2 million pounds of food to over 100 food programs in 12 Greater Boston cities

2. Rescued 1.8 million pounds of food, diverting it from the waste stream and getting it back into the food system

3. Transported 980,000 pounds of food between the Greater Boston Food Bank and food programs that lack their own transportation

4. Brought twice-monthly deliveries of food to 100 low-income seniors and people with disabilities

5. Launched a Prepared Foods Rescue program, to recapture food from dining halls and bring it to local meal programs

In the next year, Food For Free will:

1. Provide food for 115 food programs over the course of the year

2. Rescue 1.8 million pounds of food, in all

3. Distribute 2 million pounds of food (includes rescued, purchased, & other)

 

 


Needs Statement

The recently enacted Massachusetts Food Waste Ban now applies to some 1,700 institutions, including supermarkets, universities, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of food “waste”—much of it perfectly edible—will need to be repurposed each year.

As the oldest and largest food rescue organization in the state, Food For Free is uniquely positioned to respond to this opportunity. But, doing so will require organizational growth at a pace unprecedented in our 34-year history.

To meet the needs of large scale institutions, and to repurpose the food they can provide in ways that are useful to the community, we will need to make significant investment in our organizational infrastructure. At a minimum, Food For Free will need to expand our staff and our fleet of trucks. It may be that this program will also call for specialized equipment to repackage and/or freeze institutional foods into packaging more appropriate to individual consumers.

All of this requires money above our usual operating budget (which, in FY2015 is $585,000.) Over the next year, we are seeking to raise an additional $200,000 above our operating expenses to invest in our expansion.


CEO Statement

According to the USDA, 31 percent of the of food available for human consumption in the U.S. is wasted at the retail and consumer levels. That’s 133 billion pounds—worth $162 billion—each year.

Food makes up 20-25% of the waste stream in Massachusetts. Handling it is expensive for both businesses and municipalities. In landfills, organic waste produces methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change.

Recognizing the financial and environmental costs of food waste as insupportable over the long term, Massachusetts has enacted a food waste ban that applies to all businesses that generate more than one ton of organic waste a week. The ban took effect on October 1, 2014.

Meanwhile, more than 500,000 people in Eastern Massachusetts are struggling to put food on their tables. This is where Food For Free makes a difference, by bridging the gap between food waste and food insecurity.

Like our Produce Rescue program, our new Prepared Food Rescue (PreFRD) program addresses the twin problems of food insecurity and food waste simultaneously, by moving food from where it is considered waste to where it is much needed. PreFRD is different from Produce Rescue in two ways: its partners are large institutions like universities and the foods it collects are prepared foods donated in food-service quantities.

Food For Free piloted the PreFRD program in partnership with Harvard University in June 2014, collecting from Annenberg Dining Hall. During the fall 2014 semester, we expanded the program to serve all14 of Harvard’s dining halls. We now collect between 2,000 and 2,500 pounds of food each week from these 14 locations during the academic year. We are also collecting over 1,000 pounds of prepared foods each week from four Whole Foods Market and two Trader Joes locations.

Rescuing prepared institutional foods has proven more challenging and more distinct from fresh-foods rescue than we had anticipated, but the potential rewards of success are enormous. If, over the next year, we can scale up this program efficiently, we will be in an excellent position to respond to the growing availability of this food.

The Massachusetts Food Waste Ban affects some 1,700 institutions in Massachusetts, including supermarkets, universities, hotels, hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of food “waste”—much of it perfectly edible—will need to be repurposed.

There is no organization in Cambridge better prepared to help businesses address this challenge than Food For Free.

But success will require additional resources, and it will require cooperation and creativity from every corner: institutions, community food programs, financial donors, and public officials.


Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
GREATER BOSTON REGION, MA
Greater Boston

Organization Categories

  1. Food, Agriculture & Nutrition - Food Banks, Food Pantries
  2. Human Services -
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Field of Greens

Each summer, Food For Free supplements the produce we gather from donors with nutrient-dense vegetables grown by our own staff and volunteers at Field of Greens. Each year, Ari Kurtz lends us use of a quarter-acre of land at Lindentree Farm, where our staff and volunteers harvest between 10 and 12 varieties of organic produce for distribution to pantries, meals, and shelters.
Budget  $13,575.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Sustainable Agriculture
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, more than 50 volunteers will work at Field of Greens and learn about hunger, the emergency food system, and Food For Free's work. Field of Greens will harvest more than 3,000 pounds of vegetables for distribution to local food programs.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for Field of Greens would mean widespread knowledge of the issues of hunger, food waste, and sustainable agriculture within Food For Free's area of service, as well as food programs having consistent access to local, sustainably farmed produce.
Program Success Monitored By  Volunteer hours and harvest weights are tracked through internal record keeping.
Examples of Program Success  Last year, Field of Greens hosted more than 50 volunteers and harvested 5,000 pounds of organically grown vegetables for distribution to local food programs.

Home Delivery

Twice a month, Home Delivery brings a full box of healthy foods to low-income Cambridge residents who are unable to access food pantries due to long-term illness or disability.
Budget  $58,125.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Elderly and/or Disabled Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, Home Delivery will serve 90-100 clients each month will distribute more than 70,000 pounds of food.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for Home Delivery would mean eliminating the incidence of reported hunger and meal skipping due to lack of resources among low-income elderly and.or disabled Cambridge residents.
Program Success Monitored By  Food For Free uses internal record-keeping to track the amount of food delivered and the number of clients served each month and periodic client satisfaction surveys to assess the efficacy of this program at reducing hunger.
Examples of Program Success  In recent client satisfaction surveys, clients have reported a reduction in meal-skipping and an increase the the frequency with which they consume fresh fruits and vegetables.

Prepared Foods Rescue

PreFRD is a new program, piloted in June 2014 and launched officially in the fall in partnership with Harvard University. Like Produce Rescue, PreFRD recaptures foods that would otherwise go to waste and distributes them to community food programs. What makes PreFRD different is its focus on prepared foods. PreFRD is currently collecting from 14 Harvard dining halls, and several Whole Foods Markets and Trader Joes locations every week.

Budget  $73,590.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Food Distribution
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent
Program Short-Term Success  PreFRD is currently rescuing 3,000-4,500 pounds of prepared foods each week.
Program Long-Term Success  Prepared Foods Rescue could ultimately rescue millions of pounds of not only edible but nutritious and desirable food each year.
Program Success Monitored By  Food For Free uses a Salesforce database to monitor how much food we collect and distribute. We use intake forms and period surveys of our recipient food programs to assess how many people we are serving and how well our programs work at reducing hunger.
Examples of Program Success  This program is currently diverting 3,000-4,500 pounds of food each week from the waste stream.

Produce Rescue

Each morning, our drivers visit several grocery stores and other food vendors to collect donations of fresh fruits and vegetables that might otherwise go to waste. Several days a week, their route includes the wholesalers of the New England Produce Center in Chelsea. In addition to fresh produce, we collect fresh and frozen meats, prepared foods, baked goods, and dairy products. This salvaged food is transported immediately to the food programs we serve.

 

May through November, we work with ten farmers’ markets, which lets us rescue food from more than 40 farms and retailers. We also work closely with the non-profit Boston Area Gleaners, distributing much of the produce that they glean from local farms.

For pantries within the Cambridge Food Pantry Network, Food For Free is able to supplement the produce we salvage with purchased produce. Funding for these purchases comes from Cambridge’s City Food Fund.

 

Our Produce Rescue and Distribution program provides food for more than 100 local food programs in 12 Greater Boston cities. In 2015, it will distribute more than 1 million pounds of food.

Budget  $245,200.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, Produce Rescue and Distribution will distribute more than 1 million pounds of food to emergency food programs in Greater Boston.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success would be a 90% reduction in hunger and the health effects of food-insecurity within Food For Free's service area.
Program Success Monitored By 

Food For Free measures our effectiveness through both ongoing quantitative measures, i.e. daily tracking how much food we distribute, and also through qualitative measures, such as surveys of our recipient agencies. Data from these surveys helps us quantify the number of people we serve and make qualitative judgments about how well these programs work at reducing hunger.

Examples of Program Success 
In 2014, Food For Free's food rescue programs diverted 1.3 million pounds of food from the waste stream and distributed 1.6 million pounds of food in all.
 
Testimony from recipient food programs:
"We could not consistently feed all our members nutritious meals without the help of Food For Free."
 
 "Our program might not exist without Food For Free."
 
 
 

Transportation Partnership

The Transportation Partnership picks up food from the Greater Boston Food Bank and delivers it to twelve food programs that lack their own transportation. This program began in 2010 at the Greater Boston Food Bank's request.

Budget  $40,460.00
Category  Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, General/Other Hunger Action
Population Served Unemployed, Underemployed, Dislocated Homeless
Program Short-Term Success  In 2015, The Transportation Partnership will transport 850,000 pounds of food between the Greater Boston Food Bank and 12 local food programs.
Program Long-Term Success  Long-term success for The Transportation Partnership would mean a 90% reduction in hunger and the health effects of food insecurity within our service area.
Program Success Monitored By  The Greater Boston Food Bank provides Food For Free with delivery weights for the food transported through this program.
Examples of Program Success  In 2014, this program delivered 868,000 pounds of food.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Management


CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sasha Purpura
CEO Term Start July 2012
CEO Email [email protected]
CEO Experience Sasha Purpura joined Food For Free as Executive Director in July 2012. After graduating from Boston University with a degree in computer science, Sasha spent the next 15 years working in the private sector as a software engineer, product manager, and manager. She worked for Lotus Development Corp., Nokia, and Iron Mountain. In 2006 Sasha helped her husband establish Plato’s Harvest, a small organic farm in Southeastern, Massachusetts. In 2009, Sasha left the private sector to work full time on the farm while pursuing and receiving her MBA in Sustainability from Antioch University. Sasha is an active member of the local food community, sits on the steering committee of Slow Money Boston, and is a founding member of Sprout Lenders—a local investment club working to build the local food system.
Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
Mr. David R. Leslie Dec 2004 June 2012
Mr. R.B. Michael Oliver Aug 2003 Sept 2004

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms. Michelle Holcomb Development Director --
Mr. Ryan Lee Operations Director --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? Yes
Name of state association Massachusetts Nonprofit Network

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

Food For Free's work is rooted in collaboration--with food donors, recipient food programs, community partners like the Greater Boston Food Bank and Boston Area Gleaners, and business partners like Boston Organics. Here are just two examples of our collaborative work:
 
Food Food Free collects food from more than 40 sources, including farms, produce wholesalers, grocery stores, and other retail businesses. We distribute this food to more than 85 local food programs. For some of these collections and deliveries, we work with Metro Pedal Power, a local tricycle-truck delivery service. This allows us to reach multiple farmers' markets that are open at the same time without adding additional trucks to our operation, and allows us to make some smaller deliveries without putting a truck on the road at all.
 
We also work closely with Boston Area Gleaners, a nonprofit that harvests the produce left after a farm's market harvest, thereby preventing this food from being plowed under. Food For Free distributes much of the produce that BAG gleans from local farms each year.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 8
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 1
Staff Retention Rate % 75%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 2
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 2
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 8
Not Specified 0

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan No
Business Continuity of Operations Plan No
Organization Policies And Procedures Under Development
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit Yes
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

--

Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency Yes Annually

Governance


Board Chair Ms. Joanna Vanden
Board Chair Company Affiliation Social Finance
Board Chair Term Feb 2010 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation --
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Mr. Erik Brown Whole Foods Voting
Ms. Anne Cushman Advise and Consult Voting
Ms. Peggy Kutcher City of Cambridge Voting
Ms. Maggie McNally New England Conservatory Voting
Mr. John Musser Tropic Trade LLC Voting
Mr. Dana Philbrook Cambridge Savings Bank Voting
Mr. Bruce Posner MIT Sloan School of Management Voting
Ms. Kirsten Sims Hello Small Studio Voting
Mr. Robert Steinberg Kronos Incorporated Voting
Ms. Joanna Vanden Social Finance Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 10
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 5
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % 89%
Written Board Selection Criteria Under Development
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy Yes
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation No

Standing Committees

  • Finance
  • Governance and Policy

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Total Revenue $3,728,308 $527,750 $538,906
Total Expenses $3,728,587 $518,576 $454,328

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$187,829 $153,083 $158,081
Government Contributions $0 $0 $0
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local -- -- --
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $260,605 $191,376 $232,321
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $8,550 -- --
Investment Income, Net of Losses $429 $157 $1,716
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $195,648 $183,096 $146,188
Revenue In-Kind $3,054,967 $38 $600
Other $20,280 -- --

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Program Expense $3,500,097 $339,112 $266,717
Administration Expense $108,475 $64,711 $104,432
Fundraising Expense $120,016 $114,753 $83,179
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.00 1.02 1.19
Program Expense/Total Expenses 94% 65% 59%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 19% 22% 16%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Total Assets $463,304 $639,938 $611,473
Current Assets $193,386 $340,650 $479,914
Long-Term Liabilities -- $0 $0
Current Liabilities $14,393 $46,436 $27,145
Total Net Assets $448,911 $593,502 $584,328

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
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Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund Yes
How many months does reserve cover? 2.00

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 13.44 7.34 17.68

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2015 2013 2012
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Historically, Food For Free has not accounted for the value of donated food in our financial statements. We have recently implement the appropriate systems to support accounting for this beginning with fiscal year 2015. As a result, our FY15 audit shows a significant increase in both income and expenses, over $3 million of which is the value of the food we rescue and distribute.

Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above is per the organization's audited financials.
 
Please note, this organization changed its fiscal year in 2014 from a calendar year (Jan. 1 - Dec. 31) to fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). As such the fiscal year 2014 Form 990 and Review posted above cover a 6 month period (Jan. 1, 2014 - June 30, 2014) and the data is not included in the charts and graphs. 

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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