WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif., April 21, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Dole Packaged Foods, LLC today announced the winners of its Let Your Glow Show Contest, which was launched in January to shine light on two change makers who are living the Dole Promise and bettering their communities by working to solve the hunger crisis, fighting for healthy food access, advocating for nutrition education or finding sustainable solutions for our planet by eliminating plastic use, food waste, or reducing their carbon footprint.

After careful deliberation, Dole selected two winners: Leah Lizarondo, Co-Founder of 412 Food Rescue, Inc., the non-profit behind the Food Rescue Hero app, and Jennifer Kainz, Co-Founder of Mindful Waste. The winners’ organizations will receive a $10,000 donation from Dole to support their causes of promoting sustainability and reducing food waste.

“Our goal for this contest was to support those who share our mission of working to solve the hunger crisis, fight for healthy food access, advocate for nutrition education or find sustainable solutions for our planet by eliminating plastic use, food waste, or reducing the carbon footprint,” said Orzse Hodi, Senior Vice President and Managing Director, Americas, Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. “We’re thrilled to have selected these two individuals who are truly living the Dole Promise.”

412 Food Rescue’s Lizarondo shared an inspiring story of her journey immigrating to the U.S. from the Philippines and how this led to her founding the Food Rescue Hero app in 2016. The technology and logistics platform engages over 39,000 volunteer drivers in 25 North American cities. The app, available on iOS and Android, matches available food donations with appropriate nonprofits and coordinates a last-mile transportation network for volunteers. When there is a “match” between a food donation and a nonprofit in need, the app alerts nearby volunteers of the available “rescue” and coordinates the navigation and delivery of the food. The organization has rescued more than 139 million pounds of food – that’s 110 million meals that nourished those in need rather than producing harmful methane gas in landfills – and has a goal of serving 100 cities by 2030.

“Our volunteers truly are my heroes,” said Lizarondo. “They deliver at an incredible success rate – 99% – which is even better than some commercial delivery services. In the spring of 2020 when the world went on lockdown, I watched in awe as a record number of people downloaded our app, enabling us to continue to serve the most vulnerable members of our communities when many alternatives closed down.”

Jennifer Kainz, Co-Founder of Mindful Waste was pursuing a masters in conservation biology when her co-founder Renee Blue, a writer and educator, was assigned to cover a story about a hop and worm farm at Jennifer’s family brewery. They quickly realized their shared passions for reducing food waste and began planning ways to teach children to value food as a resource. The organization is on a mission to reduce food waste through education, prevention, and by setting up food recovery programs in school cafeterias to empower students to donate their uneaten food rather than throw it away. The surplus food from schools go to local hunger-relief agencies in the community. Mindful Waste also provides composting education to encourage people to turn their food scraps into soil, as an alternative to the landfill, introducing these programs as early as kindergarten. This combination of combating food waste and sustainability education was very impressive to the Dole team.

“Receiving this donation will allow our organization to reach more schools and communities,” said Kainz. “It will provide resources that teachers and students need to improve their food literacy and allow for more food recovery programs to be set up that fight food waste and hunger at the same time. Ultimately, it will empower more students to become citizens of action and allow them to show their own glow.”

Entries were reviewed by a panel of Dole leaders and judged based on community impact and alignment with the pillars of the Dole Promise (food access, nutrition, sustainability), overall quality and creativity of the submission, and how the entrants plan to drive their missions forward.

To learn more about Dole and the Dole Promise, visit dolesunshine.com.

About Dole Packaged Foods, LLC
Dole Packaged Foods, LLC, is a world leader in growing, sourcing, distributing, and marketing fruit and healthy snacks in four core categories: snacks, ingredients, beverages and fruit bowls. The company sells a full line of packaged shelf stable fruit, frozen fruit, dried fruit, and juices. The company focuses on four pillars of sustainability in all its operations: water management, carbon footprint, soil conservation and waste reduction. For more information, please visit dolesunshine.com.

About the Dole Promise
In June 2020, The Dole Promise was announced – with its three pillars around nutrition, sustainability, and the creation of shared value.

Better for People: Access to sustainable nutrition for 1 billion people by 2025, moving towards zero processed sugar in all Dole Packaged Foods products by 2025.

Better for Planet: Working towards zero fruit loss from Dole farms to markets by 2025, aiming for zero fossil-based plastic packaging by 2025. Working towards net zero carbon emissions in Dole operations by 2030.

Better for all Stakeholders: Dole will continue to positively impact all farmers, communities and people working for Dole – through its commitment to equal opportunity, living wages, and an ever-increasing level of safety, nutrition, and wellbeing. The company also seeks to advance human rights within the direct operations and supply chains by building a culture of transparency and accountability. The company also aims for a 50% increase in the value of its business by 2025.

SOURCE Dole Packaged Foods, LLC