Reduce Food Waste by Shopping Salvage Stores

| 7/18/2018 10:46:00 AM

Emery shops with me at a food salvage store

Living in Morrow County, Ohio, I’m close to quite a large Amish community. Now, I’m not talking about the Berlin and Sugarcreek, Holmes County, touristy, foreign-made-replica-souveniors Amish community. I’m talking real, quiet and quaint Amish. They keep to themselves, only slightly acknowledging you as you pass them in their black buggies on day lily-bordered back country roads.

Over the years of living in MoCo, I’ve come to discover all the Amish-run shops: self-serve livestock feed barns, bulk foods, fabrics and furniture shops, and hardware stores. I’ve even become friendly with some of the young women who work the stores (I simply adore Mary at the bulk foods store). It’s taken a few years of regularly shopping these stores, but it’s always nice to walk in and be greeted with a warm smile and a friendly hello that is reserved only for familiar English, such as myself. They’ve gotten to know my children, and always ask about them on the rare occasion I shop alone.

But I’m going to let you in on a little secret. There’s another type of store that’s popping up throughout my Amish community, and in other communities across the state: food salvage stores.

Find a Food Salvage Store

“What in the hey-hey is that?” you might be wondering. Simply put, food salvage stores sell unwanted food, health and beauty, and, sometimes, household items. Chain grocery stores unload their seasonal, outdated, or slightly damaged items at auctions. You wouldn’t believe the pallets of food that are needed to be sold in order for the grocery stores to make room for new items. What a waste! Think about it: after the winter holidays, stores need to make room for Valentines candy, cookies, etc. What do they do with the “old” seasonal items? Send them to these auctions, of course!

Local Amish purchase lots or pallets of these items at a massive discount and have them delivered to their salvage stores in rural MoCo. In turn, the ladies who work at the stores price the items at least 50 percent off their retail price. It’s not uncommon for me to save more than 75 percent (my best savings is 98 percent).

7/23/2018 2:40:59 PM

In Hazelton, Iowa there are wonderful surplus stores. They sell almost everything. Very polite and their stores are clean and well lighted with natural light . Great selection of foods, health and beauty supplies, books and GRANOLA! (my fav). Also in Adel, Iowa there is a GREAT surplus store but it is not run by Amish but by a Dunkard Brethern family. Very clean and the prices are wonderful. So if in Iowa just drop in. It will be worth your time and money.

7/23/2018 11:00:53 AM

raber's in wolcottville, IN is the best surplus grocery i've ever shopped at. It isn't amish owned but most of the people working there are amish or mennonite. one nice thing about it is there IS electricity and lights and credit card readers. Also a lot of frozen and refrigerated stuff. It is huge, too.

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