Borderlands Produce Rescue Event

Pam Kravitz

Members of Vista de la Montana United Methodist Church in Catalina hosted their first “produce rescue” event on Nov. 11, and a second event on Dec. 9, bringing a much-needed resource to this area.

The work of Borderlands produce rescue can be summarized in three categories: rescue, redistribute, and recycle. Each year Borderlands produce rescue will save 30 million pounds of produce from being sent to the landfill. The produce we rescue is then made available to supporters through one of their program areas.

Borderlands has worked with the produce industry to educate them that by not dumping good produce into the landfill and by participating in “rescue” efforts, each participant is doing their part to help curb food waste and create a cleaner planet.

Through their programming, they create opportunities for individuals and agencies; to assist in curbing food waste by taking home their rescued produce for use in their own programs.

Borderlands’ mission is not simply to ensure people are able to eat nutritiously. Another focus is to reduce the harm to the environment. When they rescue produce, they do so with the goal of finding alternative uses for the donated produce. Since 1996 they have rescued 750 million pounds of produce, and they have prevented more than 56 million pounds of methane gasses from entering our atmosphere and harming the Earth.

The idea to participate in this worthy outreach program began during the evening Family Ministry event, “Worship on Wednesdays,” therefore inspiring the United Methodist Men’s (UMM) group to offer leadership and labor. The UMM decided to take on this worthy project on a monthly basis as a way to help the surrounding area in these challenging economic times. They weren’t disappointed! At the first event, the volunteers began arriving around 6:30 a.m. to assemble produce for giving away to arriving community residents who turned out early! Cars stretched all the way down E. Miravista Lane to waiting in line on Oracle Road. By 10:30 a.m., the produce was gone, leaving a workforce feeling satisfied that their hard efforts were worth it. They are especially thankful for the additional participation of the nearby Santa Catalina Catholic Church.

The next event will be held on Saturday, Jan. 13, and will continue on the second Saturday of each month through June. Volunteers are welcome to participate and are given the opportunity to take some produce home. For more information or questions, please call Vista’s office at 520-825-1985 and leave a message for Dan Boring.