Feeding America’s MealConnect® helps redirect surplus food to feed the hungry.
MINNEAPOLIS (Nov. 19, 2020)—As food insecurity continues to spike in the United States, General Mills Convenience is rallying convenience stores to join an effort to combat food waste and feed people in need by using Feeding America’s MealConnect® platform—a mobile app that makes it easy for grocery stores, restaurants, farmers and food businesses to donate their good excess food to local charities in their own communities. To date, the tool has resulted in over 2 billion pounds of food rescued and donated to 9,300 hunger relief organizations nationwide.
To help convenience stores use the MealConnect app to facilitate food donations, General Mills Convenience has compiled a number of tools, including suggested social media posts and customizable in-store signage. Together with Feeding America®, General Mills is also on standby to assist c-store retailers interested in participating by helping to identify what foods would be best for donation and how to get started.
“We know that c-stores are always looking for ways to give back to their communities while simultaneously trying to reduce food waste,” said Jessica McMillan, marketing manager at General Mills Convenience. “Feeding America’s MealConnect app offers c-stores a turnkey way to participate in a food recovery effort, curb food waste, and donate any surplus products or food items to help feed people facing hunger in their own community.”
How MealConnect works:
- MealConnect is available from any smartphone, tablet or computer, and can be used by food retailers (c-stores, grocery), cafes and restaurants, food manufacturers and others to donate food that is either surplus or no longer viable for sale.
- The platform helps donors list food that may otherwise go to waste and directs the rescued food to a Feeding America member food bank or food pantry or meal program.
- Simply download the app and enter your zip code to register. Then snap a photo of your donation and the MealConnect algorithm will do the rest to determine the best-suited local pantry or food program to quickly pick up and distribute the donation.
- MealConnect is free for users and food donations to charities are often tax-deductible.
- Because your food donations are going to a Feeding America member food bank or their local community partners for charitable purposes, you are protected from civil and criminal liability by the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
McMillan adds that some of foods that c-stores may consider donating via the MealConnect app include:
- Unsold, ready-to-eat sandwiches and wraps, salad or fresh fruit
- Hot food items such as pizza, chicken and hot dogs
- Fresh bakery items like donuts, muffins and danishes
- Center-store goods close to their expiration dates
The General Mills Foundation, which provided an initial grant to fund Feeding America’s MealConnect app in 2017, recently awarded another $2 million to expand the capabilities of the platform. The new grant will connect even more people and households with food amid the pandemic, while also enabling more food donors to regularly and efficiently donate their surplus food to charities.
For more information on MealConnect, visit www.MealConnect.org.
About General Mills Convenience & Foodservice
The General Mills Convenience & Foodservice division serves the convenience, foodservice and bakery industries by providing quality products from time-trusted brands along with culinary, nutrition education and marketing resources to help operators succeed. Its distinguished brand portfolio includes Big G Cereals, Yoplait, Nature Valley, Gold Medal, Pillsbury, Chex Mix, Bugles, Gardetto’s and Annie’s. Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, the division had fiscal 2019 net sales of $1.97 billion. For more information, please visit www.generalmillscf.com.
General Mills Convenience & Foodservice