Waste > Food Donation

Instead of throwing away unused food, consider donating it to a nearby food bank or homeless shelter. Contact your local food banks, or visit Feeding America for information about food banks near you.  Also visit Rock and Wrap it Up for information about their food donation program, which works with sports organizations to help feed the hungry in their community with clubhouse and facility food recovery.

Rock and Wrap it Up: Case Study

Since Rock and Wrap It Up’s launch in 2003, 60 professional sports organizations from MLB, the NBA, the NHL, and the NFL have participated in their food donation program. For example, all 30 teams in the National Hockey League work with Rock and Wrap it Up to pack up all prepared but unsold concession food on game nights for redistribution to local places of need. Over the course of the initiative’s first full season, NHL Clubs provided 163,000 meals to people in need and diverted 105 tons of food from landfills and incinerators across North America. For this food diversion program, the EPA honored the Boston Bruins with the Environmental Merit Award, and four NHL clubs in New York area (Region 2) and four NHL clubs in the MidWest (Region 5) with the Environmental Quality Award.

Benefits of Donating Leftover Food

Food wasting is a particularly unpleasant feature of American society. Every year we throw out about 27% of all the food available for consumption, about 100 billion pounds annually and all but about 2% winds up in landfills. When food is delivered to a landfill, it decomposes and contributes to the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. By donating food you reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfills, thus helping to reduce these emissions. Donating leftover food also reduces the need for additional food production, thereby reducing the environmental impacts associated with agriculture, including water pollution and habitat destruction.  According to the Department of Agriculture, recovering just 5% of that food waste could feed four million people each day. Recovering 25% of it could feed 20 million people each day.

Additional Resources

Rock and Wrap it Up
Feeding America: Food Bank Locator
EPA – Food Waste Reduction