It's usually canned goods and other non-perishables that get donated to shelters and those in need, but one Austin nonprofit is taking food donations to the next level. Our Alex Stockwell explains how they're able to give healthy, quality food to others at no cost to them.
Faye Greer claims she's lost 70 pounds in the past six months.
"I used to weigh 210, and let me tell you something, look at me now," Greer says.
It isn't from a lack of food, though.
In fact, she says it's because she now has access to healthier food, something that was once beyond reach.
"The quality of this food, even the prices on this, I couldn't imagine buying something like this. I couldn't even afford something like this at all," she says.
Thanks to Keep Austin Fed, though, there's no cost to these meals.
The local nonprofit works with restaurants and grocery stores throughout the city collecting their surplus food each day.
From there, the food is delivered to centers like Austin Restoration Ministries that help feed those in need.
"They're just so thankful. If we have a little bit of food they're thankful. If we have a lot of food they're thankful. They're just glad to get food to feed the people that they need to feed," says Jennifer James of Keep Austin Fed.
"When it comes to Keep Austin Fed, this is a small amount of food. Normally, we can spread this across this entire counter, and it'll be stacked this high," says Ira Carey of Austin Restoration Ministries.
Keep Austin Fed weighs the food they pick up and discovered they save 35 to 45,000 pounds of food from the dumpster each month.
Instead, places like My Fit Foods are able to give their extra food a better home.
"The beautiful part about it really is it's healthy food given back, so it's kind of like a double bonus. But really at the end of the day it's food that we want to make sure that we don't get rid of in a bad way, but at the same time people can still utilize it," says Mat Reilly of My Fit Foods.
Recipients of the surplus food say Keep Austin Fed isn't just providing meals; they're also serving up hope to those who need it.
"It makes me cry sometimes because I can remember being hungry. I can remember being out there on the streets and not having anything to eat, eating out of trash cans and stuff."
Keeping quality food out of the trash and putting it in the hands of those who'll treasure it,” Greer says.