Giving Thanks, and Leftovers

Thanksgiving weekend. It's the start of the holiday season - not just the relentless shopping and sales frenzies, but also the time to reflect, to celebrate family and friends, and to give to those in need.

image credit - flickr nik stanbridge


There are a million charitable causes out there, but as we sit here in this weekend of gluttonous dinners and enough leftovers to feed the entire extended family (twice!), I wanted to point out some organizations that do an amazing job of getting leftovers to those who need food to eat.

Most restaurants throw away 50,000 lbs of food per year

-Business Insider: solving food
waste in america's restaurants

Each of the organizations listed below started out as an idea - a single person who thought it was crazy that restaurants would throw away food while others in the same area were starving. They started with a single car and a lot of passion, and have grown from there. Together they now serve tens of thousands of meals per week (and growing.)

Waste Not (Phoenix)
We Don't Waste (Denver)
Food Runners (San Francisco)
City Harvest (New York)
Food Life Line (Seattle)

I'm sure there are others in other cities - my goals wasn't to create an exhaustive list, rather to highlight these types of organizations.

I hope you are able to contribute to those in need this holiday season, regardless of which type of organization that might be.

But if you're looking for a gift that might continue to keep on giving, please consider helping one of these food redistribution organizations.

And if you run a restaurant, I hope you'll consider doing something more productive with your unused food than throwing it away. You can google the 1996 Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act if you have any concerns about liability.

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody.

- Chris Butterworth