Surplus Project - Volunteer Spotlight

The Surplus project has shown true innovation in reducing food waste, saving food from the landfill and getting it to those who need it the most. 

The Surplus Project began in early 2015 and has since rescued nearly 10,000 pounds of food from landfills, instead using it to feed those in our community who need it.  In the simplest terms, the Surplus project saves and packages food from criteria at the end of the day into individual meals, and family-sized portions to serve various individuals who need it across our community.  Volunteers are central to making this program work – packaging the meals at the cafeteria sites, transporting the food from the cafeteria site to the recipient agency, and distributing food at the distribution site.  Simply put, without volunteers this program wouldn't be possible. 

Thanks to grant support from the Entrepreneur Leader’s in Philanthropy’s Big Idea Grant Completion, the Surplus project has expanded to include 3 cafeteria sites and 5 recipient agencies, and is working on expanding to additional sites in the coming months.  With that, the need for volunteers is expanding!

Read more about the program in our Fall Newsletter (page 2).

Volunteer Shifts

Rush to Food Pantry
Tuesday and Fridays, 2:30 pm
Volunteers come to the Food Pantry to pick up insulated bags, pick up food from Rush Oak Park Hospital and return the food (and bags) to the Food Pantry

Dominican to Mills*
Wednesdays and Fridays, 2:00 pm
Volunteers come to the Food Pantry to pick up insulated bags, pick up food from Dominican University and deliver to Mills Tower, then return the insulated bags to the Food Pantry

Oak Park and River Forest High School to Food Pantry*
Wednesdays and Fridays, 1:00 pm
Volunteers come to the Food Pantry to pick up insulated backs, pick up food from the High School and return the food (and bags) to the Food Pantry.

*Not currently in Volgistics, but coming soon!

View the volunteer procedures for all Surplus Project Shifts, here.