What is Fresh Alliance?
The Fresh Alliance program, through South Coast Food Share, provides meat, dairy and other nutritious fresh foods.
Fresh Alliance was begun in Oregon through the Oregon Food Bank in 2002, providing a previously untapped source of high-quality and nutritious food for people who are hungry. Albersons, Fred Meyer, Rays, and Wal-Mart in Coos and Curry Counties, donate high-quality, high-protein, short-dated foods that previously went to waste. A South Coast Food Share driver picks up truckloads of milk, meat, cheese and juices and delivers to network members for distribution in emergency food boxes and in meal site preparation for people in need. There are currently 69 stores participating in Oregon and the program is continuing to expand.
Fresh Alliance is a program of Oregon Food Bank that South Coast Food Share has implemented in the last five years. This program collects prepared and perishable foods from stores and delivers it directly to partner agencies that provide emergency food boxes and emergency meals. By using this program, we increase our inventory of fresh produce, dairy and bread products. These products are in high demand by all SCFS member agencies.
Fresh Alliance product is food removed from shelves on or before marketing date, that is still up to food safety standards, and is then donated to the FA program. We provide Fresh Alliance training to partner agencies so they understand the "freshness" dates and We do our best to account for any items that are past the point of being distributed but the same two-day reporting system is also in place for Fresh Alliance products.
The Fresh Alliance Program has its own dating system which provides dates for the safe use of products starting at the date that products reach their ‘Sell-By', ‘Best-if-used-by', or ‘use-by' dates. For example, a carton of milk may be used for up to 5 days after one of these dates, yogurt 14 days, cottage cheese 6 days. Meat can be frozen before it reaches its labeled date and kept for up to 90 days.
A partner agency may have received less of a particular product because there is less of that product to offer to the 30 partner agencies the network. That's why we offer all partner agencies as many products from as many sources as possible, and will continue to do so for all of our partner agencies.
There are many factors that can affect how much a store is able to donate, and the amounts fluctuate from week to week. There has been a significant decrease in the amount of products donated since the Coos Bay Albertsons closed. Around the holidays, stores tend to overstock on many items, to make sure items in-demand are always going to be available to consumers. Once the holidays are over, though, stores tend to be much more careful about what they order and what they do with their unsold meat. This results in a decrease in the amount of products available. Additionally, in these hard economic times, stores are tending not to carry a surplus of products, which means there is a smaller amount of food donated to the Fresh Alliance program, and therefore less food to be distributed among our 30+ agencies.
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