Thursday, November 5, 2009

Long May You Serve

Although co-founders of Serving Artists, Sarah Zentz and Dana Richardson, are sad to say they will now be traveling on, they are optimistic about the continuation of Serving Artists. Here in Lancaster, PA Sarah and Dana designed and distributed "tool kits" with helpful information for dedicated locals to continue contacting, collecting and sharing otherwise wasted food. Brittany Hartman, Millersville University student, is taking over for the Lancaster addition of the project.

Sarah and Dana are also excited to actively continue their part in Serving Artists as they travel from the East to the West. They concluded that, "the true dedication and desire to continue this project is not just to spread an exact duplicate of the first project, but to adapt, be creative, be resourceful and have faith that we will find a solution when faced with any obstacle in life."

Serving Artists is designed to help close the cycle and create regenerated nutrients from wasted food. May the cycle continue to feed people, reduce waste, and create valued relationships with a diverse group of farmers, artists, donors, students, teachers, neighbors, and more.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Gleaning Potatoes!

When we began searching for gleaning legal rights and guides we found The Society of St. Andrews. We would like to thank Julie Sykes Kaylor (volunteer gleaning coordinator) for providing us with a gleaning guide, harvest times, and the United States Department of Agriculture "A Citizen's Guide to Food Recovery." We had never heard of the Emerson Act - a public law that encourages the donation of food and grocery products to non-profit organizations for distribution to needy individuals. With encouragement from other organizations, we co-founded "Serving Artists." 

In October, Serving Artists gleaned 800+ lbs. of potatoes. Visit the following site to see the Society of St. Andrews Potato Project:

Since August 2009, we have feed 50+ people throughout the community of Lancaster, Pa local produce that has been either donated or gleaned! Thank you Society of St. Andrews (SoSA) for your role in making this possible! For those of you who would like to start your own gleaning project, SoSA will advertise for you as well as supply you with everything you need to coordinate gleaning events in your community!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Serving Artists: Tool kit.

Hungry? Starving? Poor? Low income? Motivated? Willing? Inspired? 

This tool kit is meant to be an aid  in reclaiming otherwise wasted food and serve communities this unwanted, unused, excess, not for profit food products that have the potential and ability to feed hungry people throughout the world. You will be amazed and disgusted by the amount of good food that is being thrown away. There is so much waste because of: 
1. Lack of time for businesses to seek and deliver food donations. 
2. Fear of lawsuits. 
3. Food safety regulation and waste standards. 
Here are some suggested steps to starting your own food reclamation project. Again, these are only suggestions and apply to those individuals especially interested in serving & distributing food to others. Mainly, you are not just collecting for yourself although you will benefit hugely from these efforts. For example, we have found it possible to sustain ourselves entirely from donations for Serving Artists, with the exceptions of dairy products. Be creative and adapt these steps to meet your own, personal needs: 

Step 1| Declare your mission statement. 
Note: Think about answering the following questions: 
-Who are you impacting? Is it the local community, narrow region, or entire state. -Who is the audience? Homeless, low-income, artists, immigrants, single mothers, etc.
Note: This is a serving project. It will take time on your part and require dedication, skills, and effort. 

Step 2| Design your support system. 
Note: Consider the following: 
- Who are you asking for support from? Farmers? Bakeries? Markets? Produce stands? Large corporations like grocery stores? Food distributors? 
-What are you asking for? What is the quality of food (organic, local)? What is the quantity of food (how much will you use without creating more waste)? 
- Where does the range of support system begin and end?. How far away are you willing to get food from? Set a mile radius. 
-How are you getting food? Are you willing to pick up from donators/farms or do you want food dropped off (tip: picking up gets greater results). Have you heard of gleaning (see step  )? 
-When can get you get food? What pick up or drop off time works with your schedule? A regular routine aids in success. 
-How are you going to serve the food? Serve meals out of your home, in a public location (ie: park) or mobile deliveries to shelters or homes? 

Step 3: Build a support directory. 
Note: Create a list and map of farms, markets, stores, bakeries, etc. 
- Search online (state sites), in phonebooks, or in community newsletters or pamphlets. 
-Use keywords of organic, natural, farm, orchard, garden, etc.
-Make note of stores name, owners name, address, phone number, and what type of category they fit into (ie: fruits, veggies, bread, dairy, meats, herbs etc.). 
-Make a huge list! We mapped out about 50 locations in our area and received routine pick up dates from 10! Don't give up! 

Step 4: Contact your locations. 
Note: Phone calls are the quickest, but walk-ins are helpful and emails are usually requested to send more information. 
-Don't be afraid to introduce yourself with a professional title that increases your legitimacy. For example we always say, "We are Co-Founders of a non-profit project." 
-Have your "sales pitch" ready! We suggest to type it out, ready to send to those who are interested! 
-Use language that makes them feel you are doing them a favor because YOU ARE! 
-Use phrases such as, "We would like to collect your unwanted, unused, excess, otherwise wasted food."
Note: Be respectful. 
-Arrange a pick up or gleaning day and time. Don't be late and call if you can't make it! 
-Depending on where you live, be prepared to answer the question of whether you are associated with a church. 
-In the beginning, make sure to call prior to arrival until you get into a daily/weekly/monthly routine. 

Step 5a: Be ready for pick up/delivery!
Note: This means the following: 
1. You are responsible for taking care of the food. 
-Preparation (cooking). Have some recipe/cookbooks ready!
-Preservation  (canning, freezing, storing,) Note: every food is different. Research! The information and instructions are out there! Have containers, freezer bags, canning supplies ready!
-Composting kitchen scraps excess waste and possibly returning that soil to a garden! If you don't have a compost bin, consider building one!
2. Be aware of what fruits & veggies are in season! 
3. Have a vehicle (truck, car, bike) and container (bag, box, basket) ready to gather food in!

Step 5b. Be ready to glean! 
Note: Gleaning has been done for centuries. Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest. 
- Know harvest dates and seasons. 
-Schedule an appointment ahead of time. 
-Wear work clothing. 
-Recruit a team to help (in most cases). 
-Take lots of containers, boxes or bags to fill! 

Step 6. Preparing and serving! 
Note: This is the fun part! 
-You get to eat and feed others!

Step 7. Thank those who donated to you! 
Note: Make them feel like your working together is truly impacting the community. 
-Tell them about the meals you have served! 
-How many people you have fed! 
-This will make them think twice before throwing out waste in the future! 

If you have any questions or concerns, please comment! Good luck on starting your project and let us know about them! 

Sarah & Dana

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Changing seasons bring new harvests!

Fall is here and we are overwhelmed with the amount of donations we received this week! From lots of corn to cabbage and tons of fresh baked bread, this photograph hardly does the job of describing how much we were given! We were thankful to share with the local community and continue to be awed by the generosity of others, especially when we continue to GIVE!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Support System

We would like to take this opportunity to give back to those that have given! The following is a list of places that we encourage the community of Lancaster, PA to support because they have supported the mission of Serving Artists. Click on the business to view their website or location. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Food Brings People Together!

How many hours would you imagine collecting food from local farms, orchards, bakeries, etc. would take? "Serving Artists" is please to inform you we spent 10 hours both Friday & Saturday collecting, chopping, composting, cooking, canning, and not to forget serving local foods to the community of Lancaster, PA.

The most sincere thank you goes out to all those who took part!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Our Appreciation!

We will be keeping a record of the gifts we have received from local farms and businesses that make Artists Serving Artists possible. These small businesses are choosing to contribute and support the well being of their community! We strongly encourage our community to support these providers of ethical and high quality foods, in return!
As you read the list below, consider the amount of unneeded waste produced daily, it is inexcusable!  How can you make contributions towards turning "waste" into a beneficial resource?

8/28/09 donations:
Eggplants, heirloom tomatoes, yellow/ red/ green bell peppers, baby potatoes, yams, beans.

2 boxes of tomatoes, yellow and green beans.

Honey pecan breads, sourdough loafs, wheat loafs.

1 box tomatoes, bell peppers, green beans

8/21/09 donations:
Heirloom tomatoes, eggplants, squash, bell peppers, beats, onion.

4 cantaloupes, 1 box roma tomatoes, 1 box cherry tomatoes, 1/2 watermelon, 1 box green/purple grapes, 1 bag bananas, 1 pineapple, 1 bushel of beats, 1 box green/red/yellow peppers, 1 onion

3 loafs walnut bread, 4 sourdough loafs, 2 baguettes, 2 pastries

8/7/09 donations:
10 cantaloupes, 2 bags green beans,1 box tomatoes

10 baguettes, 2 large whole wheat loafs, 10 sourdough loafs

5 bushels of carrots, 10 beats, 5 rutabagas

cinnamon, all spice, chili (whole), cacao nibs, fennel seed, caraway seed, cloves, powdered kelp

8/1/09 donations:
1 box of beats, carrots, tomatoes

All that good food could have been thrown in the trash if it were not scavenged!?
Makes me hungry....

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Humanure: Close the Cycle

Have you thought about the way we consume but don't always return nutrients to the earth? What other species does that? Fortunately we are innovative enough to solve that problem,
 and there are many ways. 
Learn how to balance your impact...

Madsen Bike Contest!

Click on this link to view the "perfect market bike!"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Urban Food Recovery Project

Similar projects  seeking an extended life for otherwise wasted organic matter ( , offer solutions of both feeding people, community building, and new soil for the drying up earth.
We can only hope that projects like this are spreading their existence in EVERY city.

Click here to view "Spontaneous Vegetation", a Chicago Based Project.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Citizen's Guide to Food Recovery

Click here to view the United States Department of Agriculture's "Food Recovery & Gleaning Initiative."

As gleaners, dumpster divers, etc., you must know your rights. 

View APPENDIX C for the "Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act."

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Top 3 Must See

We have created a top 3 list of films you must see! 
Where does our food come from? 
What is it that we are eating daily?         
How much do we really know?

Please tells us your comments & feel free to add to the list!