Nov 14, 2022 - News

Kum & Go ends food rescue partnership with Eat Greater Des Moines

Illustration of a box that contains some food and dotted outlines of food that is missing.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Kum & Go has ended its years-long partnership with the local nonprofit food rescue group Eat Greater Des Moines. Instead, they will work with the Food Bank of Iowa.

Why it matters: More food could end up being wasted said Aubrey Alvarez, the executive director of Eat Greater Des Moines.

What's happening: Alvarez said she was notified in September by Kum & Go that it was ending its partnership, which started in 2018.

How it works: Eat Greater Des Moines has worked with the gas station to pick up leftovers from its stores. But Alvarez says the Food Bank of Iowa doesn't have the capacity to get the food from locations throughout Polk County.

  • Alvarez estimates Kum & Go benefited in $4.6 million in tax deductions from the donated food.

What they're saying: Kum & Go made the decision as a way to "streamline" reporting its taxes and ensure food was being donated to places that were compliant with 501c3 requirements, said Meg Kayko, a waste reduction specialist for the company.

  • Though she acknowledged Eat Greater Des Moines was properly monitoring donations.

What we're watching: Axios called several suburban Kum & Go's and confirmed with a Johnston food manager that leftovers were being picked up irregularly since the switch.


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