• Epic-Cure,Inc.

The Epic-Cure Almost Monthly Newsletter

Please watch the movie “Wasted: The Story of Food Waste.” You can watch it on Amazon or Netflix. Or, you can "check out" a DVD at our warehouse.


Operations:

· Record month in February: just over 437,000 pounds of food rescued and distributed in St. Johns and Putnam Counties. This was a 28% increase from January’s throughput, which was disrupted by supply chain hiccups.

o Oh yeah – and in Duval County, too! We held our first distribution there on February 20th with help from Kim’s Open Door, a community outreach charity focused on children. They are located in Ponte Vedra Beach.

o Duval 11,543

o Putnam 210,843

o St. Johns 214,758

· Palatka warehouse update: Roof is scheduled to be replaced the week of 3/1.

· Inventory program for the Palatka warehouse is fully functional and is in the testing phase. Our UNF project team did an amazing job!!

· Did our first joint venture with the Flagler Care Connect Plus Bus. They provided free primary and urgent care and we provided about 9,000 pounds of free food to 127 families in Elkton. This is an exciting program that we hope will be ongoing and expanding.

o The next one is scheduled for 3/24.

o Long-term goal: We hope to secure grants and donations to purchase and operate an Epic-Cure Food Truck to follow the Flagler Care Connect Plus Bus around and provide meals and basic nutrition education along with the free food

· Next Five Star cooking class scheduled for 3/6.

o We will expand on our first knife skills class – chopping vegetables.

o Butchering meat this week!

· Installation of the walk-in freezer in the St. Augustine warehouse is underway.



Notes on the graph:

437,144 pounds of food was distributed to 6,549 families. That equated to approx. 67 pounds of food given to each family at each distribution.


]Where did the additional food come from this month? CEFAP (Coronavirus Emergency Farm Assistance Program)


Program description: USDA will partner with regional and local distributors, whose workforce has been significantly impacted by the closure of many restaurants, hotels, and other food service entities, to purchase $3 billion in fresh produce, dairy, and meat. We will begin with the procurement of an estimated $100 million per month in fresh fruits and vegetables, $100 million per month in a variety of dairy products, and $100 million per month in meat products. The distributors and wholesalers will then provide a pre-approved box of fresh produce, dairy, and meat products to food banks, community and faith based organizations, and other non-profits serving Americans in need.


What did that translate into for us? With supply of those wide open we distributed about 3,000 (93,000 pounds) of those boxes in February.



Awareness:


· We are still looking for a monthly mobile distribution site for a location in one of the following zip codes: 32257, 32258 or 32259.

· A link to an article published in the Washington Post about food waste is below:


https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2021/02/25/climate-curious-food-waste/

· Another really interesting read (please see below for that happened to this company):


https://www.biocycle.net/codigestion-in-central-florida/


· What happened to Harvest Power?


On the Harvest Power issue, they were a venture capital backed company, privately held (little available info). The owners shut the company down in August 2020 because their operations were not profitable. They received thousands of complaints from citizens about the odors emitted by their plants and lost their permits to do business in places like Richmond, BC (Canada), where the government required them to re-tool in a way that was so costly that they had to abandon operations. They were also uncertain that they could even meet the government requirements.


The auction company charged with selling Harvest Power’s assets did not publish its auction results, so there is no way to get the information on who purchased what; however, I looked at what was offered at auction and believe the equipment was not very specialized and could have gone to almost any industrial purchasers. I also believe that the company wound down without a bankruptcy filing, as I cannot find any evidence of one (BK's are always publicly announced - in the newspapers).


In short, if someone can eliminate the odor problem and do so (a) with political certainty and (b) economically, then such a composting business might make sense. That is a tall order.


· If you want to share with your friends to help raise awareness, we put together some “talking points” to boil down what Epic-Cure is all about.

· To hear about ongoing volunteer opportunities, please join our Facebook Volunteer Group. Charity Roberts, our volunteer coordinator, posts details about our needs every week.


Grants & Fundraising:


· We are trying to get an initial 25 Palatka school district employees to sign on for automatic donations to Epic-Cure from their paychecks. Once we get the initial 25, the school district will create a new deduction type in their payroll system and will put out a blast email to all of their employees that donating to us is an option.

· Awarded a $5,000 grant from Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.


Anyone who wishes to see Epic-Cure’s financial statements need only ask.

· Please email your requests to Sunny Mulford: sunny.mulford@epic-cure.org


Impact


Epic-Cure's impact on food insecurity in St. Johns and Putnam Counties has grown significantly over the past 18+ months. In terms of the largest food rescue initiative in our communities, that of Feeding Northeast Florida (FNEFL), Epic-Cure has grown in its efforts, more than quadrupling as a percentage:

· From 13% of FNEFL's distribution volume ...

· To 59% of it ...

in St. Johns and Putnam Counties. Take a look:


Epic-Cure's Contribution to Food Security as a Percentage of Feeding Northeast Florida's Throughput in 2019 and 2020





In Putnam County, Epic-Cure distributed more than 80% of FNEFL's volume in 2020. And more than half in St. Johns. The numbers are impressive but not as impressive as the hard work and dedication of all of our VOLUNTEERS who made it possible. Daily, Epic-Cure’s volunteers are on the front lines in the battle against food insecurity, and we are truly awed by them!


Where does all of the food go?


Mondays

1. Summer Breeze Apartments – 60 seniors in a Section 8 apartment complex.

2. AMVETS/VFW – meat to serve hot meals to 125 veterans.

3. SAYS – meat and produce to serve 30 youth at risk.


Tuesdays

1. Home Deliveries – 3 groups averaging 60 families.

2. Mt. Moriah Church – serving 60 families in West St. Augustine.

3. Awaken City Church – serving 30 families in the area near Epic Theater.

4. Rulon Inc. – serving 60 factory workers and their families.

5. Every 4th Tuesday of the month at the Homeless Coalition serving 30 residents.


Thursday

1. Home Deliveries – 2 groups averaging 40 families in St. Johns and Putnam Counties.

2. Betty Griffin – serving 30 families.

3. Open warehouse shopping – serving 200 families.


Friday

1. Palatka warehouse – serving 650 families.

2. Every 3rd Friday First Baptist Church of Interlachen – serving 120 families.


Saturday

1. Anastasia Baptist Church – serving 100 families.

2. Remnant Outreach – alternates serving 25 families one week and then 60 the next.

3. Flagler Hospital – serving 100 families.


In addition to those regularly scheduled weekly/monthly distributions, in February we did 8 mobile food pantries in:

1. Flagler Estates

2. Crescent City

3. Welaka

4. Duval Co.

5. Hollister

6. St. Augustine Shores

7. Bostwick

8. Elkton


In all, serving 1,268 families.


We also provided snacks to 570 school children.

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