The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how food waste solution providers and food businesses must operate to safely do their work. What are the new challenges they’re facing? What can they be doing to overcome them? And what can they learn from others who are successfully adapting their operations to this new reality?
ReFED is grateful to all those who participated in our recently concluded discussion series, Better Together: Food System Best Practices for Navigating COVID-19. Over 450 of you tuned in live and hundreds more have watched discussion recordings. The initial five topics, covered in this series, represent the biggest challenges highlighted by friends of ReFED from across the food system. While each challenge is unique, they share a common solution: collaboration. In each installment, our panelists highlighted that the best way we can overcome this crisis is by reaching out to, helping, and getting help from each other. It won’t be easy. But from sharing assets and safety procedures to creating corporate-startup partnerships — and many more great ideas in between — we’ll fare better together than we would apart.
- April 15 - LOGISTICS: Connecting Food and Transportation Surpluses and Shortages Caused by COVID-19
Supply chains have yet to catch up to demand shifts caused by the pandemic. This has left food rotting in fields and trucks parked in lots while retailers and food recovery organizations struggle to keep up with record demand. Join us as we discuss ways to get food to the people who need it.
- Barbara Bronstein, Founder, President and Volunteer, Second Servings of Houston (bio)
- Sueli Shaw, Social Impact Manager, DoorDash (bio)
- Tim York, President, Markon Cooperative (bio)
- April 22 - LABOR: Connecting Labor Surpluses and Shortages During COVID-19
While millions of Americans have been hit by the wave of unemployment, some sectors, including food recovery, don’t have enough labor to meet record demand. We’ll discuss how to match people willing and able to work with organizations that need them.
- Katherine Miller, Vice President of Impact, James Beard Foundation (bio)
- Melissa Speisman, Vice President and National Site Director, Food Rescue US (bio)
- Denise Osterhues, Senior Director - Sustainability & Community Engagement, The Kroger Co. (bio)
- April 29 - SAFETY: Safe Operations & Food Handling During COVID-19
Coronavirus necessitates new ways of working to keep employees and customers safe. From social distancing to hand washing and “A/B teaming,” there’s an entirely new set of best practices to implement in addition to all-important food safety practices. Hear from a panel of safety experts and frontline workers about the best ways to run your organization in these risky times.
- Su-Lin Terhell, Operations and Strategy Manager, Replate (bio)
- Kevin Smith, Senior Advisor, Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (bio)
- Dr. Ben Chapman, PhD, Professor and Food Safety Extension Specialist, North Carolina State University (bio)
- Tracy Chang, Chef/Owner, Pagu (bio)
- May 6 - GOVERNMENT: Getting Government Support During COVID-19
Government passed legislation to provide organizations with support during the pandemic, but have you made the most of what’s available to your organization? Are you sharing the right information with the right people? Learn from experts how you can work with different levels of government to improve food access and reduce food waste.organization in these risky times.
- Emily Broad Leib, Director, Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (bio)
- Elizabeth Balkan Director, Food Waste, Food & Agriculture Program,Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) (bio)
- Tom O'Donnell, PhD, Sustainability Coordinator, US Environmental Protection Agency (NAHE) Region 3 (bio)
- May 13 - FINANCE: Organizational Financial Health During and After COVID-19
This pandemic has created a range of fiscal issues and opportunities for all types of organizations. Join us to learn more about keeping your organization financially healthy in the short- and long-term.
- Nina Meijers, F&A Innovation, Startup Relationship Manager, Rabobank (bio)
- Elizabeth Washburn Surti, Senior Principal, Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation (bio)
- Jeannie Valkevich, Accelerator Program Manager, +Acumen (bio)