Beth Ahm Tikkun Olam volunteers Sharona Shapiro and Howard Dembs look over the rescued food with Chad Techner (center).
Beth Ahm Tikkun Olam volunteers Sharona Shapiro and Howard Dembs look over the rescued food with Chad Techner (center).

Metro Food Rescue, a local food rescue and redistribution organization, held a batch cooking event at Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield on June 22.

As Congregation Beth Ahm’s project chair Debra Darvick fittingly stated, this was a situation where “too many cooks do not spoil the sauce.”

The situation was an inspiring one — Metro Food Rescue, a local food rescue and redistribution organization, held a batch cooking event at Beth Ahm in West Bloomfield on June 22, before taking the cooked meals to City Covenant Church in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit.

Chad Techner, founder of Metro Food Rescue, partnered with Beth Ahm’s Tikkun Olam/Social Action Team to make the event happen, with the help of about 10 volunteers. 

The Beth Ahm team of Cathy Lichtman, Sharona Shapiro, Julie Englender, Bob Levine, Debi King, Tim Zwickl and Debra Darvick assist Chad Techner.
The Beth Ahm team of Cathy Lichtman, Sharona Shapiro, Julie Englender, Bob Levine, Debi King, Tim Zwickl and Debra Darvick assist Chad Techner.

The rescued food included plant-based kosher sausages, tomato sauce and vegetables, along with garlic bread to be served with the main course.

“We’re going to be taking it and making pasta that’s going to be served at the church, which serves approximately 150 people five days a week, and this is going to be the meal they serve tonight,” Techner said.

Techner said the food they rescued to cook with came from a combination of places, including Sam’s Club and multiple pantries. 

Last year, Metro Food Rescue was able to save over 600,000 pounds of food directed to landfill and redistribute it to community organizations in need. The organization rescues food five days a week at this point. 

Project chair Debra Darvick is one of the cooks.
Project chair Debra Darvick is one of the cooks.

Metro Food Rescue’s regular efforts include dropping off about 2,000 pounds of produce and 400 loaves of bread to Temple Israel’s food pantry on weeks they distribute, and supplying 100% of the food that the Temple Kol Ami pantry gives out each week.

“I find it unconscionable that we waste 40% of the food in this country and people are going hungry at the same time,” Techner said. “It feels amazing to be a part of the solution.”

Metro Food Rescue partnered with Hazon from its inception in early 2020, with Hazon playing an integral role in getting them to where they currently are. As of April, though, Metro Food Rescue has been a stand-alone organization, which Techner says was a long-term goal.

“Things have evolved quite a bit,” Techner said. “Hazon is still helpful in an advisory role, and we are so fortunate to have had their partnership from the beginning to get where we are.”

David Goodman, Beth Ahm’s executive director, said the congregation was thrilled to take part in a project like this. After a year of virtual mania, Goodman was especially happy to see an event helping others taking place in person.

“So much of what we do as a congregation is predicated on relationships and human interaction, something which is lacking over Zoom,” Goodman said.

“So, to have people come back for a program like this, it’s extra special. 

Previous article‘Red Coat Lady’ Pat Blackwell Adds to Her Business by Training Vendors in Jewish Customs
Next articleAcclaimed Musician Summits Mount Everest