“Good meets good and works really well.”
Mikael spent 25 years teaching at the university level. After retiring, he wanted to continue serving others in some capacity – so he became involved with 412 Food Rescue.
412 Food Rescue connects businesses and organizations that have leftover or excess fresh food with people in the community who have food needs. Volunteers pick up donated food and deliver it directly to individuals with food needs or to community organizations that distribute it to the people they serve.
The work serves two purposes: reducing food waste while helping people who need food.
“This is a great organization that has grown up from nothing to a large entity that serves the public really well,” Mikael says. “It is involved in trying to make sure that there is a reduction in food waste so that institutions, organizations, stores, restaurants, that have food, produce food, or sell food don't throw things away. Nobody likes that.
“And on the other hand, and much closer to my heart, is dealing with institutions and organizations to support people who are in food need, who are insecure in their food or don't have enough food. And so, trying to make the match between those, it's like good meets good and works really well.”
UPMC is proud to partner with 412 Food Rescue in its mission. We donate, prepare, and deliver food from our facilities to people in the community who need it.
Mikael says he knew of food inequity before working for 412 Food Rescue. But he didn’t know how great the need was and how many organizations exist to address the need until his work began.
“It's been a rude awakening, actually, to see how much need is out there,” Mikael says. “It surprises me. And so I'm really glad I'm doing this because of that.”
What stands out to Mikael when he makes food pickups and deliveries is how passionate people are: both those who donate food and those who receive and distribute it to community members in need.
“I've just been really pleased and proud to be part of the organization and be a piece of it and to see how it's what it's doing and how it is enthusiastically supporting the community and how the community responds to it,” he says. “Everybody I talked to loves the organization. I've made hundreds of phone calls, and people are just so thankful and so enthusiastic. And it's been really, really nice.”
At UPMC, Life Changing Medicine means working together to serve our neighbors.
Learn more about how 412 Food Rescue helps those in the community experiencing food insecurity.
Working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh and a wide range of community organizations, we are committed to improving the health of the communities we serve.
Life Changing Medicine at UPMC is made possible every day through the generosity of numerous individuals, corporations and foundations.
With volunteers ranging from teens to seniors and options involving office work or patient care, there's a place for all qualifying volunteers at nearly two dozen UPMC hospitals.