Feeding Change: Urban Gleaners
In every area we deliver in, we’re proud to work alongside local nonprofits to increase food accessibility for everyone. In Oregon, we’re thriled to support the work that Urban Gleaners is doing for the community. We sat down with Kerri Cacciata, program director at Urban Gleaners, to learn more about their amazing work.
Imperfect Produce: What’s your mission?
Keri Cacciata: 1 in 5 Oregonians live with food insecurity. At Urban Gleaners we collect delicious, fresh food before it can go to waste and we get it to people who need it. Pure and simple.
IP: How did you get started?
KC: In 2006, our founder, Tracy Oseran, discovered that hunger is not necessarily an issue of access, it’s an issue of distribution. She and her two teenagers started talking to people in local restaurants, grocery stores, and bakeries. Tracy began a local movement that has grown into a vibrant volunteer-powered organization feeding thousands of families every week by rescuing fresh, unsold food—made up of the region’s best ingredients, from hand-roasted coffee and organic produce to fried chicken, gourmet deli sandwiches, and gluten-free cookies.
IP: How have Imperfect donations helped your work?
KC: Twice a week we visit the Imperfect warehouse and fill our van up with gorgeous fruit and veggies. The produce is then shared with our pantries and sites all over the Portland Metro area alongside the grocery and prepared food items we distribute. Having Imperfect as a regular and consistent partner has been an amazing resource and way to share fresh produce with the community year round.
IP: What else would you like our community to know about you?
KC: We have a for profit sister company, Tracy's Small Batch Granola! Our founder, Tracy started making granola in 2004 after realizing she couldn’t find a granola she liked in Portland. Her recipe was a huge hit among family and friends and prompted Tracy to begin selling it commercially. In 2006, the same year she founded the food rescue organization Urban Gleaners, Tracy’s Small-Batch Granola was born. Since the beginning, the two organizations have been linked. 100% of the profits from Tracy’s Small-Batch granola fund the work of Urban Gleaners. Our granola is hand made in small batches (hence the name) in Portland’s historic Central Eastside Industrial Area. If you walk past our facility any morning of the work week, you’ll likely smell the delicious cinnamon and baked oats wafting from the kitchen. We use the highest quality ingredients and organic ingredients whenever possible.