Restaurant Leftovers To Feed The Hungy

Restaurant Leftovers To Feed The Hungy

We know times can get tough, but what if during these tough times there was a way to make things just a little bit easier?

In America, 1 in 6 people face hunger and 1 out of 5 children are at risk of hunger. While there are programs such as SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) ready to help, this statistic of those facing hunger still stands. (

But did you know that in America alone, 40% of food is thrown away? There is enough uneaten food to feed 25 million Americans being thrown away every year( So why isn't this food put to better use?

While there are some restaurants and nonprofit organizations doing their part, 56% of large restaurants are concerned about liability when it comes to donating their food (Goldberg).

Mary Risler, founder of Food Runners, says this is just an excuse and Claire Cummings, waste programs manager at Bon Appetit Management Company Foundation, more than agrees. "There's no reason not to donate," Cummings told The Huffington Post, "It's ridiculous because we are protected (Goldberg)."

This protection Cummings speaks of is a bill that was passed in 1996 called Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. This bill protects restaurants from civil and criminal liability if a recipient were to get ill or hurt from consumption of the donated food (Goldberg). While there isn't any public record of anyone in the U.S. being sued for donating food, why are restaurants still so reluctant on donating their leftover food?

While we may never know the true answer to this, others are taking a step forward in putting restaurant leftovers to good use. Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC), a non - profit organization founded in New York is doing their best to spread awareness while spreading the excess food collected from local restaurants to those in need (O'Hare.)

As it is easy to point fingers to restaurant owners and business men for this wasted food, we all can have some sympathy and understanding here. As there is protection for such donations to be possible, can you blame owners being a little weary when it comes to distributing food that they normally would see as garbage?

To help in distribution of all of this leftover food, more organizations like RLC should be developed to not only help restaurant owners in a sustainable sense but also, so this food can reach those in need. If you are an owner, waiter or waitress and are looking for resources to help you in your career please contact us. Together we can make a difference in the restaurant business. 



"11 Facts About Hunger in the US."     

Goldberg, Eleanor. "Restaurants Officially Have No Excuse Not To Donate Leftover Food."     Huffington Post, 7 Dec. 2016,

O'Hare, James. "This Non Profit Is Rescuing Excess Restaurant Food to Feed the Homeless."     Global Citizen, 15 Mar. 2017,

Seibel, Mache. "1 in 6 Americans Go To Bed Hungry." Care2, 28 Sept. 2011

Tonon, Rafael. "Insie Massimo Bottura's Master Plan to Conquer Food Waste." Eater, 3 Aug.     2016