PHILADELPHIA — After nearly six months of collaborating to provide free fresh produce to low income Philadelphians, the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market and Sharing Excess have been able to donate 2,039,323 pounds of food back to the community. With food insecurity continuing to impact 38 million Americans a year and 20% of Philadelphians, the organizations remain committed to making unsold produce that would otherwise be thrown away available to people in Philadelphia through food pantries.
“We are so proud of the over two million pounds of food we have diverted from landfills since the partnership with Sharing Excess began,” said Mark Smith, General Manager of the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market. “Our mission is to deliver fresh and healthy produce to people and this project is just another way we are making that happen.”
The sustainable partnership began in July 2021 and boasts a yield rate of 91.2%. Sharing Excess has worked with 18 of the produce vendors to bring food to 4 major food banks, 70 community organizations, Philadelphia homes, food pantries, community fridges, hospitals and senior homes.
“I founded Sharing Excess to help eliminate food insecurity in our community,” said Evan Ehlers, Executive Director and Founder of Sharing Excess. “Working with the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market is increasing our impact, and improving the quality of produce for families across the region.”
Sharing Excess was founded in Philadelphia in 2018, to scale human compassion to meet a global challenge; food insecurity. Sharing Excess works to address the crucial need for food by delivering regular surplus from grocery stores, restaurants, wholesalers, and farmers to communities in need. By embracing the imagination of students, change-makers, innovators, and entrepreneurs, Sharing Excess is changing a broken food system by eliminating the barriers between excess and scarcity.
The Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market opened its doors in 2011 as the largest refrigerated building in the world, housing some 700,000 square feet of the world’s freshest produce but its roots date back all the way to Dock Street, the earliest fruit and vegetable marketplace in Philadelphia. Today, the state-of-the-art facility ensures the highest global standards for quality fresh produce.