Breaking News
More () »

Rolling Tomato: Instead of the landfill, excess food in Boise is going to nonprofits

When commercial kitchens make more food than they need, Julie D'Agostino and the Rolling Tomato Food Recovery Project step in to make sure the food doesn't go to waste.

A Boise-based program is making sure that food coming out of commercial kitchens doesn't go to waste. Instead of the landfill, the food goes to deserving local nonprofits.

St. Luke's Boise Medical Center is a big food provider for the Rolling Tomato Food Recovery Project.

Each day, the hospital provides food to about 3,000 people, including staff, patients and families. Oftentimes, the hospital's kitchen staff prepares more food than they can serve.

When that happens, Julie D'Agostino and Rolling Tomato coming it to make use of the extra food. D'Agostino started the project two years ago when she moved to Boise.

"Nobody was doing prepared foods, short trips, smaller quantities and direct from commercial kitchens to local nonprofits," D'Agostino said. "I decided to start it up because I know there is a need, and I know there is always excess food."

D'Agostino reaches out to potential food donors like restaurants, hospitals and catering companies.

"If they are interested I get an idea of what they have to offer, and how often," D'Agostino said.

The food is then delivered same day to local nonprofits, including homeless shelters.

St. Luke's often has a surplus, which is just what D'Agostino needs.

"It was easy for us to get on board to help feed the community," said Jake Bowman a sous chef at St. Luke's. "It's incredibly rewarding. I think one of the greatest gifts you can give your fellow mankind is a meal."

D'Agostino does much of the work on her own, but she's always looking for helpers.

"I want to grow this and I want to get more donors and certainly more volunteers," she said. "I just know that you can't be wasting perfectly good food, when there are people who need it."

Paid Advertisement

Before You Leave, Check This Out