Entrepreneur Quits Financial Industry to Bring Leftovers to Hungry People
Let's all help to reduce waste and feed the hungry!
It doesn’t matter who you are; experiencing the high from taking perfectly good food from restaurants and local businesses that would ordinarily end up in the trash and giving to the hungry will change you. Even for high level business men making millions, giving back could beat any bull market rush.
Robert Lee would know. He left his high-powered job to start feeding the hungry and keep good food out of the waste stream.
The co-founders of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Robert Lee and Louisa Chen were both part of a university organization called Two Birds One Stone, which delivered leftover dining hall food on campus to homeless shelters. Through their volunteerism, the two learned best practices for the operations side in delivering food, fostering relationships with key partners within the industry, and the management skills needed to make it all work.
Lee has said, “It was kind of shocking to see how much food waste was happening around campus. I wondered: Why doesn’t every institution do something like this?”
Lee has been called the ‘Robin Hood of Leftovers’ for good reason. He has already ‘rescued’ and donated more than 290,000 meals since 2012 for those who often go without ample food. His organization, started in 2013 and called Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, saves food from the abundance we throw away every year. As his website details, millions suffer from food insecurity every year, and we throw way enough food just in our country to practically feed the entire world.
The United States alone wastes 133 billion pounds of food annually. In a 430 billion pound food supply, that’s about one-third of the whole wasted. Economically, it’s $161.6 billion in food wastage. Adopting simple practices to reduce food waste can make a huge difference when we all pitch in.
Food, shockingly, is the number one “trash’ sent to landfills. The thing is, it can also be an incredible treasure.
What’s most amazing is that Lee and his volunteer task force has saved 10,000 pounds of food, delivering it to people who really benefit from it for as little as ten cents a pound. This is not only a sustainable way to feed people, but also keeps good food out of the waste stream.
Lee is looking for more volunteers to expand his program even further.
CivilEats (Featured image sourced from CivilEats)
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.