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Fighting Food Insecurity with City Barbeque and Food Rescue

Thursday, folks across the country will gather around a table to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. But the picture may be different for the more than 42 million people in the United States living with food insecurity. In 2015, there were 15.8 million households across the country unable to get the food they needed at some point during the year—and the percentage of food-insecure folks in Ohio, Kentucky, and North Carolina is above the US average.

How can we help? Well, at City Barbeque, we’ve adopted the Food Rescue model. Food Rescue connects restaurants to food pantries and similar organizations, who can get our food to families who need it. We freeze surplus food at the end of each day and volunteers arrive weekly to transport the frozen food to local pantries. Just like everything we serve, the smoked meats and scratch-made sides we donate are held to the highest standards, and they freeze beautifully, allowing them to be safely transferred from our kitchens to the plates of folks in need.

Ronnie Berry, our Vice President of People Services, is on the board of Food Rescue, and was responsible for getting City Barbeque involved in the program. “It gives our joints a real opportunity to connect to families in need, right in their backyard,” he says. Berry estimates that, in 2016 alone, City Barbeque has provided more than 30,000 meals to food-insecure folks in the areas we serve.

Learn more about City Barbeque and Food Rescue from our founder and CEO Rick Malir—who calls our participation a “no-brainer”—and team members Jason Cox and Jennifer Jean-Baptiste:

Sources: Food Rescue, the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service