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Volunteers needed in Detroit as food rescue group tackles waste during 2024 NFL Draft in

Volunteers needed as food rescue group tackles waste during 2024 NFL Draft
Volunteers needed as food rescue group tackles waste during 2024 NFL Draft 02:00

(CBS DETROIT) - To combat food waste and hunger, one Metro Detroit food rescue is taking charge at this year's NFL Draft in Detroit, ensuring excess food reaches those in need.

Starting this week, the kitchen at "SDM2 Project Education" is serving up some new items on their menu, all because of the action already underway ahead of the NFL Draft.

"Everything that comes in is quality food," Jacqueline Moore, founder of SDM² Project Education, said. "We're within a community that does not have quality grocery stores; the food is not what it should be." 

Andres Gutierrez/CBS Detroit

The non-profit is one of 74 groups that typically receive weekly deliveries from Metro Food Rescue, which, during the draft, will prevent 30,000 pounds of food from ending up in the trash. 

"It's really gut-wrenching to see the problem—and to see it on both sides. The need of our partner agencies has grown as much as 100%. We're double the number of people asking for food assistance now as they were a little over a year ago. And we're just trying to grow as fast as the need is," Chad Techner, founder and CEO of Metro Food Rescue, said.

The salvaged food from caterers, restaurants, and other vendors is anticipated to make 25,000 meals for the community.

They started pick-ups on Sunday.

"So before the draft, we're picking up once a day in the afternoon, and once it gets closer to the draft, it's going to be morning pickups because no one wants to be driving in and out of there in the afternoon when the event is at full force," Techner said.

As a small organization facing a herculean task, they need volunteers.

"Most people who come down there will come down in their own vehicle, and we'll help load them up, and they'll take the food to an agency, or on some of the bigger days, they'll help load a truck, depending on what is going on that day," Techner said.

They hope the community steps up while Detroit shines on the national stage. 

"Not only do we have refrigerated food, but here we have meals that are already prepared for you, and that is making a huge difference," Moore said. 

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