Every month, food delivery trucks pull up outside Allegheny County Housing Authority housing units and wait for volunteers to open the doors and begin unloading boxes of goods.
It’s mostly produce—cucumbers, green peppers, apples, heads of cauliflower and broccoli. Some have minuscule bruises, others are in good condition but slightly past their sell-by (not expiration) dates. It’s all edible, and all distributed for free to residents of the housing authority—every piece of it diverted from landfills, courtesy of Pittsburgh-based nonprofit 412 Food Rescue.
“There are a lot of issues with the way we distribute food, and we need to understand how to actually make sure that people can access the food we’re making available,” said Leah Lizarondo, the group’s co-founder and CEO. “Partnering with housing authorities and other sites such as daycares allows us to bring food right to where people already are. That has been such a game-changer in terms of how we address food insecurity.”