On the Frontline of Food Rescue

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August 28, 2018 By: Tina Mortimer Category: SHH News

When it comes to fresh produce and other perishable food, looks can be deceiving. Perhaps no one knows this better than Corey Livingston, who spends his days scrutinizing ripe bananas, evaluating bruises on mangoes and checking expiration dates on packages of frozen meat. As a food reciever for Second Harvest Heartland working with fresh food, it’s part of Corey’s job to assess the freshness of these food items to be sure only quality food that’s safe for consumption is allowed to leave the distribution center.  

One of the first things he learned when he began working for Second Harvest Heartland two years ago: most produce doesn’t have to look pretty to be good.

While his work includes a lot of heavy lifting and transporting of food from one temperature-controlled environment to another, Corey admits that an even bigger part of his job involves using his senses, including his common sense.

“I’ll eyeball apples, oranges, peaches, peppers and zucchini to be sure they aren’t bad,” he said. “It’s usually not hard to tell when something is beyond edible. A couple bruises on produce are fine.” 

Gratifying Work

Working at Second Harvest Heartland is more than just a job to Corey. It’s personal.  

“I grew up in Maplewood in a single-parent household,” he explained. “It was probably tough for us sometimes. As an adult, I’ve known a lot of people who have struggled with hunger. I like working for Second Harvest Heartland because it’s doing something good to help people. It’s gratifying work.”

When Corey isn’t busy evaluating eggplant for its edibility, he enjoys reading, watching movies and playing the guitar.

Learn More About Food Rescue

Every day, the Retail Food Rescue fleet and our trained food shelf partners collect thousands of pounds of produce, dairy, meat and more from nearly 500 retail partners. This donated product is distributed to food shelves, soup kitchens and shelters. Learn more about our food rescue program.

If you need help with food, visit us online to find a local produce distribution or food shelf.


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