Food Share Program
Sisters Camelot has given out free organic food twice a week throughout the Twin Cities for the last 20 years. By transforming a waste stream into a resource, Sisters Camelot has offered people, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford it, the opportunity to eat healthy, organic, whole foods.
How does this work?
The way that the modern food chain functions, food from around the world is stockpiled in centralized refrigerated warehouses before it is distributed to grocery stores and then sold to the public. Because the flow of food is dependent on consumer demand, the food can sit in these warehouses for quite sometime. Whole and processed food are perishable, and grocery stores will only purchase foods that are going to have a shelf life in their stores. When the food begins to look less attractive, gets close to it’s expiration date, or the packaging is damaged, warehouses through the food out. This is where Sisters’ Camelot comes in. We pick up that food and give it away on the streets for free. We believe that everyone deserves to be healthy and are happy to be a vehicle for good food to be used.
Sisters’ Camelot runs on donations, we believe in the abundance of a gifting economy and give all our food freely to those who need it. Traditional food shelves can be intrusive, asking for personal information and limiting the amount of food people can have. At Sisters Camelot, we give away food to without asking for personal information and our only request is to only take what you will use. We believe that waste is unnecessary, that it can be turned into a resource. That is why we are tapping into a waste stream and turning it into a resource for people, it is also why we compost all the food that is not taken or feed it to our chickens. We recycle all the cardboard boxes, plastic containers, and pallets that the food comes in and work consciously to minimize waste.
Who gets the food?
At Sisters Camelot, we believe in random acts of kindness and have found that this model minimizes dependence on our service. Although, we would love to give to as many people as possible, it is a limited resource, and therefore we need to move the bus around to different neighborhoods to more equally distribute the food. We have pinpointed neighborhoods that are food deserts, or places where there isn’t access to healthy whole foods and brought the bus to these areas. Luckily, these areas are shifting and so the mobility of the bus can shift with them. We are currently working on establish greater community partnerships with neighborhoods in food deserts, so that we can efficiently distribute food to those who will use it. In this way, we can practice both intentional gifting and also random acts of kindness.