• Epic-Cure,Inc.

The Epic-Cure Almost Monthly Newsletter – May 2021


Mark your calendars – the 2 Year Anniversary and Volunteer Appreciation Party

Coventry Oaks Farm

104 Springside Cutoff Road

Palatka, FL 32177

May 22nd from 5pm to 8pm

Please RSVP to Mary Phillips at mary.phillips@epic-cure.org by 5/16.


Operations:

• Record month in April: just over 529,954 pounds of food rescued and distributed in St.

Johns, Putnam, Flagler and Duval Counties. This was a 5% increase from March’s

throughput, which was our previous record setting month. We anticipate a slight decrease

in May due to timing of the days and decrease in the number of mobile food pantries.


• In April we made huge strides in infrastructure. In Palatka, the drop ceiling was replaced,

and the concrete foundation for the freezer container has been poured. The freezer

container will be installed in May. FNF is coming on 5/7 to give us a final punch list of what

we need to do to pass their inspection. Once we pass inspection, we will be ready to set up

for and transition to our shopping by appointment model. We have found through trial and

error (many trials and many errors) that appointments are the only way to avoid traffic,

parking and unnecessary long wait for patron issues.

• In St. Augustine, our walk in freezer installation was complete. This is a major improvement

that will reduce fuel costs as we were using one of the trucks as an overnight freezer

storage unit 6 days a week.

• The Hub program we launched with Feeding Northeast Florida in December is building

slowly but will gain momentum in the coming months. How it works is every Thursday FNF

brings a truck full of a variety of food to the Palatka warehouse and we open for other

agencies to come and shop for what they need. Whatever is left over is added to our food

distribution on Friday. Currently, we only have 2 agencies that shop but we will be holding

an open house for food pantries and soup kitchens in the surrounding counties to let them

know about this resource in June. For agencies in counties like Clay, Flagler, Baker and

Altchua it is a much shorter drive to our warehouse than to the FNF warehouse in

Jacksonville to get supplies.



• We did our 3rd joint venture with the Flagler Care Connect Plus Bus. They provided free

primary and urgent care and we provided about 6,000 pounds of free food to 137 families

in Elkton.

• Sustain U.

o The next Five Star cooking class scheduled for 5/15. The next class is Breakfast.

o The first Wounded Warriors Project cooking class is scheduled for 5/22. We will start

where we always do: knife skills. The chicken and vegetable soup will be delicious.




Notes on the graph:

Participation is still being affected by stimulus checks and tax refunds. What that equates to is more

pounds per family that do attend our food distributions.

Month Pounds In Pounds per Family




The USDA’s Coronavirus Farm Assistance Program (the one that funds the 1,000+ pre-packed boxes filled

with milk, cheese, other dairy items, meat and produce we have been receiving every week for the last

several months) ends in May. The program was developed to help producers of agricultural commodities

that faced market disruptions due to COVID-19. It is part of a larger initiative to improve USDA pandemic

assistance to producers and people.

By purchasing those commodities, they not only support our farmers and keep that food from going to

waste, but they use that nutritious, high-quality, rescued food to supplement the diets of low-income

Americans, including elderly people, by providing them with emergency food assistance at no cost.

This is big news because as supply goes down, we anticipate participation to increase as stimulus money

and tax refund $$ run out. It also begs the question - What will happen to that food now that the USDA

will no longer purchase it? We are just one agency and have been getting 100,000+ pounds of that food

each month for the last few months.


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.

• Let’s talk about “Use By” and “Sell By” Dates.

These terms all apply to unopened products.

o Best if used by/before date: With an emphasis on the best qualifier in this term, it means

the product should retain maximum freshness, flavor, and texture if used by this date. It is

not a purchase-by or safety date. Beyond this date, the product begins to deteriorate,

although it may still be edible.

o Use by date: This term has a similar meaning to "best if used by." It means the product will

have the best qualities if used by the date noted.

o Expiration date: Some states require an expiration date on meat or milk. Check it carefully

for signs of spoilage. If it doesn’t pass the smell test its best not to use the product past this

listed date.

o Sell-by or pull-by date: This date is used by manufacturers to tell grocers when to remove

their product from the shelves, but there is generally still some leeway for home usage. For

example, milk often has a sell-by date, but the milk will usually still be good for at least a

week beyond that date if properly refrigerated.

o Guaranteed fresh date: This date is often used for perishable baked goods. Beyond this

date, freshness is no longer guaranteed although it may still be edible.

So, what are the guidelines for expiration dates and food safety? Feeding America has

developed these guidelines for how long after expiration it is safe to distribute products. Keep in

mind, these guidelines account for time to be used at home.

o Canned/Jarred Products – 8 months past expiration

o Soft Sided Products (Cereal, boxed food) – 2 months past expiration

o Soft Tortillas – 1 month past expiration

o Milk/Dairy – 10 days past expiration

o Yogurt – 10-14 days past expiration

o Baby Food and Over the Counter Medicine – 3 months prior to expiration

o Meat – we receive frozen and give it away frozen so it is good for a few months

• 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:

• St. Augustine Giving Day is May 5th. Please help spread the word!! Charity will have lots of posts out

over the next few days about it so please share!! While we have made a lot of strides in funding to

build our infrastructure, we still have a long way to go. We need to think about things like back up

refrigeration and transportation, generators with hurricane season coming, ongoing operation costs,

etc. We are a designated disaster relief agency and we need to get ourselves in the position to

manage in the case of a disaster.

• The Community Garage Sale (at the Palatka warehouse) has been rescheduled for 5/15 & 5/16. If

you have any items you would like to donate to this event, please email Jennifer Emerick at

Jennifer.emerick@epic-cure.org.

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

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



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.

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