Share Donation Storage & Handling

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    Donation Storage & Handling

    Diversion Potential:
    103K Tons

    Economic Value Per Ton:

    GHGs Reduced:
    381K Tons

    Meals Recovered:
    172M Meals


    Expanding temperature-controlled food distribution infrastructure (e.g. refrigeration, warehouses) and labor availability to handle (e.g. process, package) additional food donation volume


    • Each warehouse serves a unique local need, which requires a regionalized understanding of food distribution capabilities and gaps.
    • It can be difficult to finance warehouses that are operational and capital-intense but lack significant collateral.

    Stakeholder Actions

    • Food banks can expand existing infrastructure to increase handling capacity for perishables.
    • The network of over 200 U.S. food hubs, which aggregate and market locally grown food by providing storage, handling, and processing capabilities, can use excess capacity to store and handle donated food.
    • Foundations can provide low-cost infrastructure funding in addition to existing grants for food recovery overhead and operational expenses. Funding can also be directed toward mapping where underutilized assets exist, such as, surplus refrigerator space within existing businesses or nonprofits.
    • Nontraditional transportation and storage is needed. Ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft can provide near real-time transportation, as they do with food delivery, for donated food that must be picked up within hours. Similarly, since donated food often becomes available for recovery at night when many food banks are not open, other late-night businesses with refrigerated capacity may be available to hold food until the next morning.

    Examples & Resources

    • The Food Bank of Northeast Georgia recently secured $4.8 million from businesses and foundations to build a state-of-the-art donation facility with over 6,000 sq. feet of freezer and cooler space.

    • The Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee provided a Feeding America Produce Capacity Grant to Hughes Farm and Produce to cover the cost of installing a new processing line to sort green beans that were too short, long, or misshapen for retail standards but could be donated. The upgrade cost less than $50,000, and Second Harvest expects to recover 1 million pounds of green beans per year at scale.

    Related Solutions

    Donation Transportation

    Providing small-scale transportation infrastructure for local recovery as well as long-haul transport capabilities

    $2294 /ton
    in financial benefit

    110 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    183 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    407 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    53 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

    Learn How >

    Value-Added Processing

    Building processing infrastructure equipment and facilities to freeze or convert donated or excess food into products such as soups, sauces, and jams

    $2783 /ton
    in financial benefit

    102 K tons/yr
    in diversion potential

    171 M meals/yr
    meals recovered

    299 K tons/yr
    in GHG reduction

    38 B gal/yr
    in water conservation

    jobs created

    Learn How >
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