Food Rescue Team to Find New Marketing Opportunities for Surplus Crops this Summer

Portland, Maine: A unique food rescue team will go to work on Portland region farms this summer, finding new homes for surplus crops left in-field. Whole Crops will work with five select farms to harvest and sort marketable, edible, and inedible produce throughout the season. Whole Crops is forming a professional food rescue team, trained by Lisa Johnson author of the Whole Crops Harvest protocol developed at North Carolina State University.

The Whole Crops Professional Food Rescue Team is supported by a $10,000 grant through World Wildlife Fund.  Whole Crops is part of the USDA Scaling up for Growth in the Portland Food Shed program, a $500,000 USDA Local Food Promotion Grant to place 2.5 million pounds of locally grown food into the mainstream food system.

Whole Crops will work with USDA grant partners to address marketing opportunities, using Spoiler Alert as an online platform for farm surplus and seconds sales.

“After harvesting, sorting and weighing the marketable, edible and inedible portions, a simple business opportunity report will be provided for the farm to make decisions on whether to sell, donate, or move the product off the field,” said Hannah Semler of Whole Crops.

The professional food rescue team might also harvest the product at cost once the market relationship is secured through Spoiler Alert and other USDA grant partners. Business opportunity reports will be developed in collaboration with CYON Business Solutions, also a partner to the USDA LFPP grant Scaling up for Growth in the Portland Food Shed.

The full grant partner list includes:

To find out more about the Whole Crops Food Rescue Team, go to

Media Contact:


Dianna Fletcher, GPCOG Communications and Engagement Manager

Mobile: 207-831-8148

About the Portland Region Food Foundry:  Founded by the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG), the Food Foundry is an alliance of innovative food industry entrepreneurs, investors, workers, and policymakers.  The Food Foundry convenes industry leaders to initiate, develop, and expand the food production eco-system that has helped earn the Greater Portland region its national standing as one of the country’s premier “foodie” destinations. Find out more at