United Supermarkets and High Plains Food Bank Team Up

Janie Singleton, High Plains Food Bank Executive Director
Janie Singleton, High Plains Food Bank Executive Director

Ever wonder what happens to the cartons of eggs that have one or two broken inside?

United Supermarkets in Amarillo have developed a way to put to use the ten or so left behind.

The High Plains Food Bank and United Supermarkets have joined forces in the "Fresh Recovery" Program.

With the program, United will donate fresh meat, produce, deli items, and dairy products that are still usable but are approaching the "sell by" date to local pantries and soup kitchens.

"We are going to get about 5,000 pounds of food per week, but translated that's going to give us about 25,000 meals a week with really high nutritional product," said Janie Singleton, High Plains Food Bank Executive Director.

Every day, Food Bank refrigerated trucks will pick up donated items from seven Amarillo United Supermarkets and one Canyon store and bring it to the food bank.  The food will then be distributed to food bank clients like food pantries and soup kitchens.

The usable eggs will be collected and cleaned again and placed in clean, donated egg cartons for sending to needy families.

Singleton says the addition of fresh food products will give better, healthier food options to the families that use the agencies.

"The food donations will help fill the gaps of hunger with nutritious, tasty options for those in need," she said.

The food bank said that everyone that receives the food should know that the food will always be safe for consumption.

All food will be watched closely by trained employees and no food will be given out past the expiration or "sell by" dates.

Zack Wilson, of the High Plains Food Bank, said that the need for families in the Panhandle has gone from 8,000 in November 2008 to 11,000 now.

He said the food bank currently provides more than 6,000 meals per week to those families in need.

"The fresh food United Supermarkets is giving to us will really help the families in need because fresh, healthy food is hard and expensive to buy," said Singleton.  "They are much more likely to eat cookies or get 99 cent chicken nuggets to fill their kid's stomachs."