Give leftovers to homeless

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I am very concerned about a matter that has been happening for a long time. Why don’t more fast-food restaurants and catering services donate their leftover food to The Salvation Army and other homeless shelters in Augusta and all over the United States?

Every day, tons of good food all over America get thrown away when we have people who are starving and homeless right in front of us. In the year 2009 alone, about 20,000 Georgians were homeless on any single night, and more than 62,000 during the entire year. In 2011 the statewide estimate was 11,366 people. Individuals who were “precariously housed” in Georgia – in imminent danger of becoming homeless – numbered 4,712. Together the number of homeless individuals in Georgia on a single day in January 2011 was estimated to be 16,078. Unbelievable, but true. Imagine what the percentage is now three years later, You do the math.

Looking at these numbers should make anyone and everyone, especially restaurant owners, feel some remorse and have some kind of self-reproach toward this matter. I feel remorse and I don’t even work in the food business. I’m just a local, concerned and optimistic woman residing in Augusta. The people of the United States who own restaurants should donate all nonperishable foods to homeless shelters, except for foods with past-due expiration dates because of potential food-borne illnesses. If not donated, hire a recycling company to pick up leftover food for composting materials, or recycle cooking oil into biofuel.

I’m all about helping people in any way that I can, but I don’t have all the resources to do so. So I’m urging restaurant owners all over the world who are not participating in these actions to get on board.

Natovia S. Jones

Augusta

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Truth Matters
6829
Points
Truth Matters 01/02/14 - 04:46 am
7
1
I think many restaurants do

I think many restaurants do give in some way. See link below on how the Darden restaurant chains address local hunger. Maybe you could take/send this article to your favorite fast food restaurant and ask if they donate food. If you are a loyal customer that will likely carry a lot of weight.

http://earth911.com/news/2013/02/19/darden-restaurants-harvest-program/

carcraft
25803
Points
carcraft 01/02/14 - 06:39 am
9
2
A friend of my daughter

A friend of my daughter worked at a fast food restaurant and ask about this very issue. The problem of liability was their chief concern. After the food was tranfered to the assistance organization the business had lost control of handling practice, they were afraid of tainted food being served and the company being liable!

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/02/14 - 07:36 am
10
3
Carcraft

You're right about liability, that is a major concern. But some are just plain greedy and scared to lose a little profit.

For example, one of the main Buffet restaurant chains in this area refused to allow employees or anyone to take ANY food home with them!! I've personally witnessed them dumping huge amounts of food into the dumpster. Now, you have waiters, waistresses, cooks, etc; making close to minimum wage, and they can't take any food home to help feed their families?

I actually asked a couple of the waitresses about this, and they stated the manager doesn't want to risk food being prepared late in the evening, just to be taken home by employees.

It should be criminal, how much food I've seen wasted by this restaurant alone; just because they don't want a couple pans of food cooked late, to be taken home. These waitresses and waiters who don't make a lot of money, should be able to take the extras home to feed their families.

geecheeriverman
2426
Points
geecheeriverman 01/02/14 - 08:38 am
13
3
Cannot give food away

The US Government will not allow food to be given away. I remember when farmers were allowed to pick up food from restaurants to feed to livestock, and the Government stopped this practice. Apparently some diseases could be spread to the people who ate the livestock after it was processed for human consumption. In case you may have forgotten, the Government controls almost all of our lives in some fashion today.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 01/02/14 - 09:00 am
13
3
Besides the liability issue...

We also have an entire generation being brought up to expect free handouts. I had the same thought process on day old groceries being given in lieu of food stamps, which are terribly abused!

Ms. Jones, your heart is in the right place but you're about 80 years too late. During the Great Depression, you would be hailed as a hero because people needed and wanted help to get back on their feet. Now a days, laziness is a way of life. A choice for many! I'd hate to see you taken advantage of.

Bizkit
31402
Points
Bizkit 01/02/14 - 10:07 am
7
3
Why not address poverty and

Why not address poverty and more low income housing, mental issues, and drug abuse that is the root of homelessness. Giving people food doesn't address the root causes-although I am not against it. Obama could do a lot by reducing the poverty that has increased dramatically while he has been president. Strange enough during this period the people with health insurance actually rose according to Reuters-before ACA implementation and more people losing health insurance than have gained it. Giving people food is like wealth redistribution because it doesn't address root issues-it's just a quick fix for a moment.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 01/02/14 - 10:48 am
8
3
Want to help a Homeless person, find a Homeless person and help.

There is (was recently) a guy living under the Gordon Hwy Railroad Bridge just before Molly Pond Rd. Bet you he'd like another dry blanket and some more food or a gift card for Harvest Table just a mile away.

Yes the shelters help.
But its the ones that fall thru the cracks
that need help the most.

corgimom
32391
Points
corgimom 01/02/14 - 10:59 am
6
3
The grocery stores donate

The grocery stores donate day-old baked goods to the Master's Table.

Once food is cooked, it has to be stored properly to prevent spoilage. There wouldn't be any way to get that cooked food to the shelters and properly stored and then reheated.

GiantsAllDay
9589
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/02/14 - 11:24 am
5
0
I used to volunteer at the

I used to volunteer at the Masters Table on Fenwick street. Mostly on Sunday mornings. Dozens and dozens of pizzas would show up (cold, but already cooked) from Pizza Hut. They were either mistakes or from orders where the customer faked out on paying for it. We put the pizzas in the big ovens for about 30 minutes and the people who ate lunch there that day seemed to enjoy it. That was awhile back, so I don't know if they still do this.

Bulldog
1324
Points
Bulldog 01/02/14 - 01:46 pm
7
1
Lack of knowledge

Like so many, well meaning, but ignorant people, the writer (and some posters) rail against what they sees as useless waste. What they fail to appreciate is that what they are suggesting is, for the most part, incredibly dangerous, and thus illegal. Where legal, the vast majority of grocery/bakery vendors donate great quantities of food to the local area food banks. I have participated in a small way by picking up bread, for a local charity, from a national grocery chain, for years. Americans are the most generous society in the world when it comes to supporting those in need. However in all fairness, Americans would do well to examine the question of the responsibility of those who are on the receiving end of this generosity. Will those asking for food today be in the same line tomorrow? Next year? What is our responsibility to help them break the chains of welfare slavery?

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/02/14 - 01:49 pm
5
2
"In the year 2009 alone....

....about 20,000 Georgians were homeless on any single night"

Sorry, but I just don't buy it. There are people whose jobs depend on the number of homeless being as big as they can make it and they don't want to lose their jobs.

I think the actual number is MUCH smaller and some of it is certainly being homeless by choice. It's a lifestyle thing. There are plenty of facilities around to support truly homeless people, but in many cases they refuse to live by some pretty simple rules set by the sponsors of those facilities.

As for giving away leftover food....I suspect the reason big companies don't do it is because they don't want to be sued. Smaller companies...the reasons probably vary from wanting to use it some other way, or by just being too lazy to suffer the hassle.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/02/14 - 01:48 pm
5
2
Giants

You're right. We used Pizza Hut numerous time to feed hungry people. Pizza's that are ordered but not picked up; they used to call us and tell us they had a couple if we knew of anyone in need. I haven't seen it done in years. I wonder why that changed? Some government regulation?

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/02/14 - 02:01 pm
8
1
Harley

I believe you're right about the number of homeless! They do inflate that number for many different reasons. I've worked the streets for a long time and I just don't see the numbers they always talk about. They also include drug addicts, who stay at this house or that house, but don't have their own place.

You're also right about some of them being a lifestyle choice. Many we run across have money, tents and decent clothing; but simply don't want to live in society. Many have warrants from other States that won't extradite. We just had one not long ago that a convenience store called about bothering other customers. He was just sitting on the side of the building with a laptop, using their internet. He had a tent set up in the small patch off woods, behind the store.

Bizkit
31402
Points
Bizkit 01/02/14 - 02:03 pm
10
1
Lots of church's feed or

Lots of church's feed or assist the poor and homeless too, but it isn't talked about or popular because fears of proselytizing these folks to christianity isn't politically popular with progressives-they rather the govt do it.

Bizkit
31402
Points
Bizkit 01/02/14 - 02:31 pm
9
1
MyFather brings up a good

MyFather brings up a good point. Some people choose a bohemian counter culture lifestyle of being homeless too.

KSL
129456
Points
KSL 01/02/14 - 03:26 pm
3
4
So storing leftover food is

So storing leftover food is problematical, while the homeless rummage through garbage cans full of have eaten food scraped off people's plates.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 01/02/14 - 04:12 pm
5
1
Using my trusted food storage chart

Frozen 0 to 28 degrees
===============
Meat Leftovers 2-3 months
Poultry leftovers plain 4 months

Refrigerated (36 to 40 degrees)
====================
Leftover Meats dishes 3-4 days
Leftover Poultry dishes or plain pieces 3 to 4 days
Leftover Poultry dishes in gravy 1 to 2 days
leftover gravy 1 to 2 days
Hot dog package opened 1 week
Ham slices Pre-Cooked 2 to 5 days
Whole Ham Fully cooked - 2 weeks

PIZZA
Ask any college student
if refrigerated within 4 hours will last 3 days depending on ingredients. (fish being shortest eat by date)
There is a saying, when in doubt,
throw it out!

Dudeness
1544
Points
Dudeness 01/02/14 - 04:22 pm
7
0
Government Intervention at work

I cannot speak of GA's laws on the subject, but I know that many parts of the country make it illegal to do what this letter says because the government is supposedly concerned about the health risks to those receiving the food. Apparently starving is a preferable alternative to them.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/02/14 - 04:21 pm
6
0
"There is a saying, when in doubt, throw it out!"

True.

And that's one of the reasons they invented "sell by" and "best if used by," and "expiration" dates.

They want you to throw away perfectly good food and medicine so you will have to buy new stuff.

Most people fall for it hook, line, and sinker. I suppose they think at the stroke of midnight some ghost comes in and spoils the products.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/02/14 - 04:24 pm
7
0
"Apparently starving is a preferable alternative to them."

I don't think they really even consider it as a possibility.

They're bureaucrats. They have to DO SOMETHING to justify their jobs. Besides, most of them are democrats so they have to prove they weally, weally, weally care.

I can't remember the last time I read of someone starving to death in the street.

It's a government inspired hoax, that's all.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 01/02/14 - 05:11 pm
4
0
I tell you this

If a Diet Coke says
BEST BY _______2013
it means it.

But I can also remember older days (60's) when my family wiped material oil over the outside of fresh chicken eggs to make them last well beyond a month. Froze Milk and bread to get to the next Military paycheck.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/02/14 - 05:25 pm
4
0
In 1968....

I was eating canned food date stamped 1945 in C rations which was still pretty tasty. Even smoked Lucky Strike cigarettes from C rations that came in green packages.

nocnoc
42555
Points
nocnoc 01/02/14 - 06:31 pm
3
0
I agree I ate K's

20 years old in 1967-68

and had my fill of C's also.

But you must admit it was heavily preserved with chems and nothing like public food nowadays .

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/02/14 - 06:37 pm
3
0
"But you must admit it was heavily preserved....

....with chems and nothing like public food nowadays ."

I assume it had some preservatives, but I really don't know how it compares to modern technology. For all I know food canned today would last longer than that canned back in the 40s and be less dangerous to eat. I've never seen any data comparing the processes/chemicals used.

My point is that just because there's a stamped date on it (whatever it is) it does NOT mean that on that date it turns to chit.

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 01/02/14 - 08:05 pm
2
1
Gary Ross @ 8:00

"Ms. Jones, your heart is in the right place but you're about 80 years too late. During the Great Depression, you would be hailed as a hero because people needed and wanted help to get back on their feet. Now a days, laziness is a way of life. A choice for many! I'd hate to see you taken advantage of."

The bigger problem is that a large percentage of the homeless DO NEED this food, BUT too many people are abusing it and now it is seen as a "FREE GIVEAWAY"!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 01/02/14 - 08:15 pm
3
1
I may be mistaken

I believe the Bible states something about "You can feed a man a fish per day, BUT you can teach a man to fish for a lifetime". I think this can be interpreted; today; as teaching a person a trade. I am not clueless, with the high percentage of unemployment, many people are not going to be able to find work regardless of any amount of teaching, BUT IT IS A START!!

t3bledsoe
14290
Points
t3bledsoe 01/02/14 - 08:29 pm
3
0
Dudeness @ 3:22

"I cannot speak of GA's laws on the subject, but I know that many parts of the country make it illegal to do what this letter says because the government is supposedly concerned about the health risks to those receiving the food. Apparently starving is a preferable alternative to them."

I couldn't have said it better!! As long as it can be proven the donated food is safe, eating day old or week old food is preferable to not eating at all!!

Georgialina
7441
Points
Georgialina 01/03/14 - 12:09 am
3
0
Contamination

It all comes down to contamination. Once a business has prepared food by law it has a very limited time and temperature window that it must be served or thrown out. I own a catering business and had to be serve safe certified just to have my name on the license. You would not believe the strict temp and time rules imposed by our government. After that period we are prohibited even giving the food away. If caught we could be fined or our license taken away. Even though I know the food is good enough to eat (and would eat it myself) I can not allow it to be given to a homeless, starving man w/o risking the loss of my business. That is our government in action for you!

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