1/20/17 — Goodwill Ends Farm to Freezer, Strengthens Commitment to Food Rescue
The Farm to Freezer program, a food processing and distribution social enterprise, started in 2013, is ending operations as a program of Goodwill Northern Michigan and is expected to continue through a new independent business entity. Brandon Seng, will be leaving his position as Goodwill Northern Michigan’s Director of Food, to lead this new and independent entity that is expected to expand Farm to Freezer into additional markets and pursue sales beyond Goodwill of Northern Michigan’s 19 county service area.
When Farm to Freezer began three years ago it was a natural extension of Goodwill’s commitment to reducing food waste and increasing community access to nutrient dense foods. The program provided training and work experience for 50 participants.
“We appreciate the support Goodwill has received from the community that believed in this program and want to ensure them that we have been good stewards of that investment,” said Greg Payne, Goodwill Northern Michigan Board Chairman.
Seng expects that local Farm to Freezer retailers, farmers, and customers will continue to benefit from the new organization’s continuation of the product. Additionally, he intends to support Goodwill’s meal service programs including the Goodwill Inn, Addiction Treatment Services, and Meals on Wheels through the sale of at cost, local frozen food while supporting Food Rescue through ongoing financial contributions.
“Farm to Freezer demonstrates not only the power of community support but also the foresight of Goodwill to serve as an incubator for innovative ideas that can transform lives for good,” said Marsha Smith, Executive Director of Rotary Charities of Traverse City. “It’s exciting to see this initiative blossom into a more robust economic driver for our region and state.”
Goodwill Northern Michigan’s current Manager of Food Rescue, Taylor Moore, will be promoted to Goodwill Food Programs Manager, and the Food Rescue program will remain a top priority and mission-driven deep rooted community program of Goodwill Northern Michigan. Food Rescue will continue to provide access to good food through 40+ pantries in five counties, educate our youngest citizens on food waste, and take action to refocus its community outreach efforts, all of which are integral to strengthening our communities. Moore provides a wealth of experience serving as an integral part of the Food Rescue team since October 2015. A graduate from Colorado College, Moore also studied cuisine with a degree in Culinary Arts from Cordon Bleu. He also attended and graduated from The American School in London.
Goodwill Northern Michigan is a non-profit organization assisting our northern Michigan neighbors in need with access to Housing, Jobs, and Food. Learn more about Goodwill Northern Michigan here.