One key element in planning green meetings is to minimize waste. Obviously the first way to attain this goal is to not create it in the first place. But no matter how careful the planning, inevitably there are leftovers. Instead of throwing catered food away, consider donating it to your local food bank.
The mission of your local food bank is to provide food and services, create stability and further self-reliance for people in crisis. Every year in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Freestore Food Bank serves over 160,000 low-income people. Approximately 28,500 different people receive assistance in any given week. The services of The Food Bank extend beyond Cincinnati, reaching people in 20 counties of Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The Food Bank’s assistance reaches 450 agencies throughout the Tri-state including soup kitchens and food pantries.
To dispel general myths regarding those that are served, please consider the following statistics:
57% of those served have at least a high school diploma
34% of those served are under the age of 18
40% live in the suburbs
30% live in a household with at least one working family member
Jamie Rosskopf, Resource Development Manager for the Cincinnati Free Store Food Bank, recently stated that the Prepared & Perishables Program at the Food Bank is currently expanding its efforts. What can your business do to help?
There often seems to be unspoken assumption that business and environmentalism do not mix. The business world is known for its showy displays of excess, but this should not be the case when planning your next business meeting. Now more than ever, it is important to plan your event in an environmentally friendly manner.
Rosskopf explains the guidelines for donations. “Only food that has not been set up for consumption is accepted. If businesses could notify us 24-48 hours prior to the their event we would appreciate it. We can usually pick up your donation within one day of your event.”
Food Donors are protected by the “Good Samaritan Act” of 1996, which prevents people or organizations to be held liable for their donations. Ask your recipient organization or attorney for details.
Hunger is a social issue that affects the entire community. In a constant struggle with an ever-rising poverty level, the community food bank is known as the place to go for help. In Cincinnati, the Freestore Food Bank is one of the Tri-state’s most highly respected and effective human services organizations.
Little changes can have a huge impact! Set an example! Donate leftover food from conferences and events to your local food bank. It not only reduces waste but it is an important aspect of our social responsibility.