Damaged Food Recycling
The Stroudwater Food Pantry (SFP) receives up to 700 lbs. of boxed produce donations each week including apples, berries, corn, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers and other harvest products.
Approximately five to ten percent of the produce received is damaged in the re-packing process before it comes to the pantry. Berries get crushed, tomatoes split open, bananas get squished and apples may be heavily bruised. While these damaged items are unsuitable for our Sunday distributions, much of the smashed produce is still perfectly ripe and acceptable for animal consumption.
In 2016 our director and founder, Doug Horner, visited a farm local to the pantry in Westbrook in search of a use for the discarded produce. Doug was greeted by Matt Randall, son of L. Arthur Randall, Jr. of Randall Farm, and after a brief meeting the two struck a mutually beneficial partnership.
Like many farms, the Randalls grow much of the food they feed to their animals including dry hay and ensiled grass. On Fridays, SFP delivers the damaged pantry produce to Randall Farm to augment the animals’ food supply. Whatever scraps are left over become composted with manure, sawdust and other products to create an all-natural fertilizer that is used on the farm, ensuring none of the SFP produce goes to waste.
A fourth generation farmstead, Randall Farm was built from the ground up at the turn of the last century and the Randall family has maintained an unwavering devotion to preserving its farmland from eager developers for over 100 years.
Their farm animals include cows, sheep and sometimes pigs who welcome the sweet taste of the donated pantry produce.
The Randalls raise Hereford, Simmental and Angus cattle. They also have a small flock of Dorset and Finn sheep that are shorn in the spring so their wool can be carded.
Some sheep are raised for show or for sale to other farmers looking to expand their flocks. Many of the sheep have names, including Cricket, Creamsicle, Salt, Pepper, Pear, Prince, Pope, Poppy and Branch.
Caitlin Randall, an award winning amateur photographer and daughter of Matt Randall, enjoys capturing the spirit of the farm through photographing the animals. Caitlin has provided all of the photos shown here.
Randall farm is located on Stroudwater Street in Westbrook. The Portland Press Herald profiled the Randall family in a 2017 article. Click here to learn more.