The Almost Monthly Epic-Cure Newsletter October 2023
An easy, impactful way that you can help us is to please …
Save And Drop Off Your Grocery Store Plastic Bags.
You will help reduce waste by allowing us to re-use them. You will save us money by reducing the number we have to purchase.
We have three opportunities for which we are actively recruiting.
Truck drivers in Palatka – varying schedules. **** Very important.
Store pickup volunteers in St. Augustine – varying schedules.
Every Sunday from 8:00 am to 10:00 am, we could use 4 to 6 people to assist stacking, wrapping, and loading pallets at the Palatka warehouse. We do our largest mobile distribution at the Melrose Fire Station every Sunday serving over 300 families, so your volunteer efforts will have an immediate positive impact in the community. And you'll get a good workout.
On September 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and EPA announced the U.S. 2030 Food Loss and Waste Reduction goal, the first-ever domestic goal to reduce food loss and waste. The goal seeks to cut food loss and waste in half by the year 2030.
ReFed and NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) created these tools to help achieve that goal:
ReFed’s Roadmap to 2030: Reducing U.S. Food Waste by 50%
A comprehensive blueprint for systemwide change that builds on the solutions in the Insights Engine, the Roadmap to 2030 identifies seven key action areas to help guide the food system’s efforts to reduce food waste by half. Plus, it includes detailed stakeholder recommendations, an overview of essential levers like policy and innovation, and an in-depth financial analysis to help direct the private, public, and philanthropic funding needed to move the needle.
NRDC’S Policy & Program Toolkit
The toolkit highlights 10 strategies to tackle food waste in cities across the categories of rethink, reduce, rescue, and recycle. Each section identifies one or more strategies—these can be thought of as “what” a city can do. Within each strategy are one or more actions—these can be thought of as “how” a city can accomplish it.
Both reports outline how policies are integral in achieving that goal. Senators Coons, Moran and Reps. Pingree, Lawler introduced the NO TIME TO Waste Act to combat American food loss and waste to Congress on 9/21/23. This bill is in the first stage of the legislative process. It will typically be considered by committee next before it is possibly sent on to the House or Senate as a whole.
It is only 27 pages so worth a read. This bill has:
A 7% chance of getting past committee.
A 3% chance of being enacted.
Only 11% of bills made it past committee and only about 2% were enacted in 2021–2023.
But we remain hopeful on this one. We have six years to go to meet that goal, and there is much work to do and infrastructure to build if we are going to achieve it. In a perfect world, greater awareness yields more solutions.
Speaking of more solutions, it is always fun to learn about interesting ideas to tackle food waste. Both articles were interesting.
Unearthing New Technologies – How Black Soldier Flies Help Reduce Food Waste
This article from 2017 describes challenges that remain the same today.
At the end of September, Davey Hartzel from the 904 Now asked if we could use flowers after events. A friend of his owns Tula Rose Floral & Event Design and wanted to find a better way to use them than to just throw them away. While we figure out a market to resell them, our wonderful volunteer Constance Wiecking showed us how to repurpose them in small arrangements to give out to our patrons. You can see the smile that brought to one of our treasured patrons, Tori who is a single mom of 3 with MS.
Here is Constance making bundles of smiles:
Here is Tori smiling on her birthday! Happy Birthday, Tori.
Here is our PIPS (Pounds In & People Served) Graph
Notes on the graph:
These are our larger sources. Feeding Northeast Florida doesn't change much because it is comprised mostly the constant stream of retail store pickups coming in. For USDA, you can see that we must be prepared to handle significant surpluses and shortages. In one week in Palatka in September, we received 18 pallets of nectarines. We had four more pallets in St. Augustine. Then, we received large quantities at both warehouses for the next two weeks. When that happens, we must start sharing this perishable food with as many other agencies as you can to get the food distributed quickly enough.
L&M Farm is who we call when we are desperate for produce and they find 1 or 2 pallets for us each time.
This is a snapshot of other data we collect each month.
Tim and Lori Tooker
It is Epic-Cure’s good fortune that several of Tim and Lori’s friends volunteer at the St. Augustine warehouse. The first to mention it was Mike Chismark who always had to leave from their beach run to volunteer. Tim was curious, and Mike invited him to check it out. So now you will see Tim on Tuesday mornings at the St. Augustine warehouse unloading pallets from trucks, weighing the containers, and driving to pick up from Farm Share and making trips to Palatka to help with Friday distributions. Sunny appreciates that Tim will step up to deliver or pick up so willingly. Since the Tooker’s live just a few minutes away from the warehouse, it makes it very convenient.
Tim and Lori work together on Sundays unloading the Costco delivery. Lori is the guru behind calculating the “pounds-in-people-served” evaluation. She can do it with her computer even when she’s sitting at the beach in New Hampshire. She constantly amazes Tim when she relates the enormous quantities that she notes coming in. That information is invaluable for writing grants and qualifying for USDA contributions.
Originally from Memphis, Lori was in business administration for a civil engineering firm and Tim was the manager of a financial institution. Desk jobs!! So now they are thrilled to do anything outside. Hiking and running are their favorite sports. They love to travel anywhere they can enjoy the great out of doors. Their two daughters who live in Nashville recently joined them up in the lake country of New Hampshire. Another favorite adventure was a transatlantic crossing from Lisbon, Portugal, visiting small islands off Portugal and Spain and on to Bermuda. The twenty day trip brought them to New York and ultimately to Miami.
Another activity that gets Tim outside is teaching golf to youth with First Tee of North Florida. Lori is an artist and has many of her beautiful works displayed in their living room. She has an art studio in their home where she also does commission work. Another love is volunteering at the Catholic Charities Thrift store on S.R. 16. There you will find “good stuff” including clothes and estate collections.
A surprising fact about Lori is that she loved playing the snare drum in eighth grade. She wanted to continue in the ninth grade marching band but was told “girls don’t carry drums.” So now she is toying with the idea of picking it up again with a few lessons.
Lori calls Tim “a recovering Yankee”. He grew up in a tiny home on Staten Island with his parents and four brothers. At age 12, he started helping at a local cafe and made $1 an hour. By the time he was 16, he oversaw opening the café. At the same time, he worked a paper route and attended school. When he was 16 the family moved to Texas. By that time, he had socked away $3,500 in cash, the equivalent of $12,000 today!
How fortunate we are to have such hard working, talented, willing, and capable people to help with the amazing project that is Epic-Cure! Thank you!
Shine A Light on Epic-Cure 5k Saturday, October 28th
Sign Up Today and Join the Fun!
Registration is open for Shine a Light - 5K for Epic-Cure! This year's event will take place on October 28th, 2023 at the Amphitheater, starting at 4PM.
We are excited to host the 2023 Shine a Light - 5K for Epic-Cure. Come run, walk, jog with us! We encourage everyone to come out and join us for a beautiful run through Anastasia State Park, followed by live entertainment for the whole family! We can't wait to see you at the starting line!
The 3rd Annual Epic-Cure® Golf Classic
The golf benefit for Epic-Cure® is returning on the eve of Halloween.
Great food, and a great golf course: The Marsh Creek Country Club! Please join us – it is not your grandfather’s golf benefit!
If you are interested in golfing or becoming a sponsor, please visit:
If you would like to donate an auctions item for the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall classes began again on September 12th. Here are a few pictures of the kids’ classes in September.
Anyone who wishes to see Epic-Cure’s financial statements need only ask.