New certification tells you which restaurants give extra food to those in need
Plenty of restaurants advertise the sustainable practices that went into making their food, but what about what happens to the unsold leftovers? Food Recovery Certified is a new program that tells you via a sticker on the front door if your fave lunch spot donates its extra food to those in need.
Food Recovery Certified is a project of The Food Recovery Network, a national network of college students taking cafeteria leftovers to homeless people. Founder Ben Simon started the group in 2011, at the University of Maryland. (The network’s saved more than 320,000 pounds of food from the dump in its first three years.)
If a restaurant donates unsold food to the hungry at least once a month, it can apply for the certification. (Kind of a low bar, but it’s a starting point!) Then Food Recovery Certified verifies with local nonprofits that the donations actually happen before awarding its approval via Zagat-like sticker.
It’s not gross stuff either, according to Marvin Baker, a homeless man NationSwell interviewed. “It’s a full-course meal,” he said. “It’s not like you’re being fed little portions. There’s plenty of food.”
As Simon says (sorry!), “Every food business should be donating its extra food.” Yeah! Hey caterers, grocery stores, restaurants, and cafeterias — jump on board!