I was impressed with the food at an event I helped to facilitate a few weeks ago – it was delicious and there was a lot of it. On the first day, I noticed that there was far more food put out than consumed and the leftovers were cleared by staff at the venue. After leaving I wondered what happened to the uneaten food.
The next day the staff informed me that leftover food was composted. Knowing that there were people nearby who often didn’t get enough food in a day, I asked if the leftovers could be boxed up. The staff had no issue with this, but a waiver needed to be signed as they would not be responsible for food taken from the venue. After confirming that the proper people were available to sign, the food was kept in a refrigerator for the afternoon. I walked away with a large box packed to the brim with leftover food. A staff member at a local shelter received the food gratefully.
In the midst of a busy day of work, things like leftover food aren’t at top of mind for most people – they usually aren’t for me. In a study by The Value Chain Management Centre, it was found that in Canada an estimated $27 billion of food is wasted every year. Some food waste is unavoidable, some is not. Consider what will be done with excess food at the next event that you’re planning. Maybe it makes sense to request take-away containers for participants, maybe there’s a shelter, school, or community centre nearby that would appreciate some leftovers.
“The best part of life is not just surviving, but thriving with passion and compassion and humour and style and generosity and kindness.” –Maya Angelou