Food Rescue and Sustainability Efforts with Samsara

This week’s Community Story is with Replate donor member, Jessica Ardon from Samsara, shares insights about their view on sustainability and why they choose to donate surplus food. Samsara builds connected sensor systems that customers can improve the safety, efficiency, and quality of their operations.

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A Little About Jessica

She is the office coordinator for Samsara and handles catering & food waste management.

How did Samsara get involved with Replate?

We have tried using volunteer-based leftover pickup services prior to Replate, which was great but not consistent. It was disheartening having our leftovers thrown out when no volunteers were available to pick them up. We have been using Replate for about 6 months.

Why did you want to start donating your surplus food?

A former colleague of mine championed the effort to donate our surplus food. All of us at Samsara believe that if it's in our ability to help, we will. We hate to see our surplus of food wasted when there is a way to give it to local people in need.

Why do you think it's important to take action against food waste/food insecurity?

There are many families in the Bay Area that are food insecure. We believe that there is plenty of food to go around as long as people with a surplus of food are taking the appropriate steps to get the food to the people that need it most. Also, by eliminating food waste, we reduce our carbon footprint by keeping food out of landfill.

What does your team think about the efforts you're making to donate your extra food?

Our team truly cares about the efforts we are making to donate our extra food. In fact, on the rare days that food would not fit in the fridge and it was too late to have a food rescuer from Replate pick it up, our staff members would speak out about how disappointed they were to see all the food go to waste. We also have a slide about our contributions to Replate on rotating deck on the TVs in our kitchen!

Has Replate impacted your company and/or team in any way?

Yes, I have heard staff members refuse to take home leftovers because they feel they are taking away from people who need it more. I've also heard that employees will get smaller portion sizes because they want to make sure they can eat everything they put on their plate. They say they can always get seconds if they are still hungry.

What other steps is Samsara taking to make a positive impact on the community/planet?

We do not use disposable cutlery and dishware to help eliminate waste, buy only compostable products such as take-out boxes and straws, and have an active volunteer club that has dedicated their time to beach cleanups, helping at local food banks and soup kitchens, and more.