Annual Appeal, November 2021

Dear Friends, 

Your donations helped Friendship Donations Network do extraordinary work in 2021. FDN’s mission is to save food that would otherwise be wasted and distribute it to people experiencing food insecurity who will enjoy it and be nourished by it. We rely on partnerships with people and organizations throughout the community to distribute the food. These partnerships are essential to the network. They are the network.

This local network is strong and durable from connections built over the last 33 years that FDN has served the community. We use our position in the community for the betterment of the whole. We have the freedom and flexibility and position of privilege to use our role to serve. FDN is rooted in relationships. We operate based on trust, honesty, and communication. Teamwork is at the center of our operation. Each person, wherever they fit in throughout the network, plays an important role.

The nourishing food rescued by FDN from its partnership with local food donors and distributed to area food programs helped hundreds of local households bridge the gap between an empty pantry and making a wholesome meal. Your donations and our 100+ FDN volunteers put that food on the table.

We could not have done it without you. Thank you.

We need your help in 2022 to continue helping households in our region that struggle with food insecurity. This is a pivotal moment for the New York State food rescue community. The NYS Food Donation and Food Scrap Recycling Law will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022 (Learn more about the law here). FDN is in a strong position to adapt to the changes that may result from this new policy since we’ve been operating for more than three decades already.

The donations we receive during our annual appeal cover just over half of FDN’s expenses. Your donations pay for our single part-time coordinator’s salary and the operational costs that keep FDN operating 364 days a year. We take a break on Christmas Day when businesses are closed, and our dedicated volunteers return the next day to pick up donated food and take it to area food distribution partners for the next 364 days. Elsewhere in this newsletter, some of our volunteers describe the rewards of their work with FDN and our food distribution partners explain how food donations make a difference in their clients’ lives.

Click on these links to read testimony from FDN Volunteers and Food Distribution Partners.

Your donations allow FDN to operate and provide wholesome, but unsaleable food that would otherwise be discarded, to feed people and families in need. The vast majority of FDN’s budget covers expenses related to our mission of rescuing surplus food, distributing it to local food programs, and reducing food waste. Here’s what FDN did with your donations in 2021.

  • $10 rescued 80 lbs. of food – enough for a family of 4 for 5 days! That’s 800 lbs. for every $100 donation and a ton of food for each $250.
  • $250 was paid for a month’s reimbursement to cover our volunteers’ travel expenses.
  • $250 paid FDN’s monthly rent for our food storage facility at the Just Be Cause Center in Ithaca.
  • $125 covered a month of insurance protection.
  • $100 paid for a month of FDN’s cell phone so we can respond quickly when food donations are available and the expenses for our website,

You helped us accomplish a lot in 2021. Among those achievements:

  • Gleaned apples, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, beets, cabbage, and squash to supplement our donations of produce while collecting food that would have otherwise been left unharvested.
  • Developed new partnerships with food retailers and local farmers to receive their donations of surplus food.
  • Coordinated food distribution 7 days/week with our partners listed here.
  • The FDN board held a series of discussions on racial equity and how FDN can accelerate its efforts to reflect the community’s diversity to better serve the many kinds of hunger issues residents face.

We have been successful in the challenging year of 2021 because of people like you. Thank you for making a donation to Friendship Donations Network today, so our mission of rescuing food and reducing hunger continues in 2022.

Sincerely and with gratitude for your support, 
Meaghan and the FDN Board