How often do we react to a problem by thinking “What can I do about it?” Take the problem of food insecurity. The Feeding America hunger-relief organization estimates that 1 in 7 people in the U.S. are food insecure. That’s 48 million Americans who struggle daily to get enough to eat. And the problem exists in every community. Helping the Needy lists 12,250 emergency food programs currently operating in the U.S. While many go hungry, global food waste is estimated at 1.3 billion tons annually. In America, more than 25 percent of the food prepared annually ends up as methane-producing waste. That’s about 96 billion pounds of food, according to the US Department of Agriculture.
But here’s the good news: if you order food regularly, there’s something simple you can do to help.
Businesspeople have a straightforward way to help address hunger by participating in food-recovery and donation programs. All that’s needed is a bit of planning. In fact, there are lots of people who have thought about this and have made it easy to help.
“It’s important for us to know about potential donations in advance. There’s disappointment on both sides if an unexpected offer is made and we already have a meal prepared.”
Alex Grant, Director of Community Development at Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, MA
But still, planning is key for all parties involved. “It’s important for us to know about potential donations in advance,” says Alex Grant, Director of Community Development at Hope Fellowship Church in Cambridge, MA. “There’s disappointment on both sides if an unexpected offer is made and we already have a meal prepared.”
You could look at this as one way for your company to improve sustainability while helping those in need. It doesn’t cost anything to implement, and you can take pride that leftover food from your meetings, training sessions, and conferences gets donated to local food banks.
It takes three simple steps:
- Request that your caterer, event coordinator, or hotel donate leftover food. Put your liability concerns to rest by reading up on the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.
- Identify a local food bank or mission and arrange for them to pick up the food. See our complete Office Hero’s Guide to Leftovers for more detail about finding willing recipients and determining when food donation is appropriate and helpful.
- Get a receipt for the donation. Not only will you feel good about doing the right thing, your company will also be able to take advantage of the tax benefits associated with food donation.
It sounds easy because, in a lot of ways, it is. Want to learn more about setting up a food donation program at your office? Download our complete guide to eliminating leftover food waste below.
Download the Complete Guide
Learn how to find willing recipients, understand the tax benefits, and determine how to make the process of donating leftover food easy.