AeroFarms Helps Reduce Food Waste with New Partnership with Table to Table and Matriark Foods Through New FarmPlus to People Program, funded by ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund

leafy greens

AeroFarms is proud to support the new FarmPlus to People program, an innovative partnership with Matriark Foods and Table to Table to upcycle farm surplus into a healthy, added-value vegetable stew for distribution to the hungry in New Jersey.

Matriark Foods and Table to Table were awarded a $50,000 grant from ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund to pilot a processing program that pays farmers, creates jobs, diverts vegetables from landfill, feeds the hungry, and proves out the metrics for nimble processing infrastructure. The goal is to deliver 500,000+ meals​ and ​offset 1,000,000+ pounds of greenhouse gases over the next 90 days.

With its global headquarter and farms in Newark NJ, AeroFarms is excited to be able to provide delicious, healthy stems and greens from a second-harvest that normally would be left in the traditional field. AeroFarms pioneering indoor vertical farming allows access to the entire root to leaf to create upcycled products that are breaking through for their culinary flavor and nutrition.

The nutritious, tasty vegetable stew ​will be distributed to the hungry​ using Table to Table’s established logistics capability and large network of agencies in Bergen, Essex, Passaic and Hudson Counties in New Jersey.

The Covid19 pandemic has increased the challenges of accessibility and availability for much-needed fresh food, straining food system logistics of storage and distribution resulting in an increase in food waste at a time when so many are in need.​ We are thrilled for the opportunity to partner with such extraordinary organizations who will help us provide an alternative source of nutritious produce. ReFED’s commitment to this project will have a significant impact on our ability to feed our hungry neighbors, while keeping a little less food from ending up in our landfills.” said Ilene Isaacs, Executive Director of Table to Table.

“The goal of this public/private partnership pilot is to demonstrate that with the existence of more nimble food processing, massive amounts of food waste could be diverted from landfill while providing jobs, nutritious food for those who need it, and offsetting GHGs at scale,” states ​Anna Hammond, Founder and CEO of Matriark Foods.​ “We plan to optimize the use of the ReFED grant to inspire investment in scaling our model for the benefit of people and the environment.”

“AeroFarms is proud to partner with Table to Table and Matriark to help provide fresh, nutritious, delicious leafy greens and stems and serve our communities struggling with food insecurity. As a Certified B Corporation, we are committed to helping increase access to fresh, healthy, great tasting food while minimizing food waste, a huge contributor to climate change. “​Marc Oshima, Co-Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, AeroFarms

“We’re thrilled to collaborate with Matriark and Table to Table to divert high quality produce at risk of going to waste to those who need it most. In particular, we see enormous value in demonstrating a proof of concept for in-time processing of surplus produce, a development that has the potential to build capacity for a food waste reduction strategy that has remained elusive due to lack of nimble processing infrastructure.” ​Anya Ranganathan, Co-Founder, Bad Apple Produce

“COVID-19 has disrupted the regular flow of the food supply chain, making it difficult to get fresh, healthy food to the people who need it most and increasing the amount of food insecurity,” said Alexandria Coari, Capital and Innovation Director at ReFED,​ a national nonprofit working to advance solutions to reduce the amount of food waste. “The work of organizations like Table to Table and Matriark Foods is urgent, and we’re excited to get them the critical support they need from the ReFED COVID-19 Food Waste Solutions Fund.”

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