AmericanTown's Heroes: Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is Helping to End Food Waste

Clubs and Organizations

December 30, 2015

If you are like most Americans you put on a pound or two between Thanksgiving and the new year. It is hard not to with holiday dinners, office parties and the generosity of friends and neighbors who bake cookies and share their goody baskets with us.

With so much food around, do you ever wonder what happens to the leftovers? Sadly, most of it gets thrown away. Recent studies suggest as much as 40% of the food supply in industrialized counties like the U.S. goes to waste, but organizations like Rescuing Leftover Cuisine (RLC) are helping to come between fresh cooked food and the garbage.

RLC was founded in 2013 by Robert Lee and Louisa Chen. They had been involved in an organization at their university that brought food leftover from the campus dining hall to local homeless shelters. When it came time to graduate they decided to take what they learned and start their own organization and "to date, RLC has delivered more than 10,000 pounds of food in New York City with a negligible delivery cost of 10 cents a pound, making it one of the most efficient systems attempting to end hunger and food waste."

One of the ways they keep operating costs low is with the help of volunteers and they welcome those who can perform a number of roles, including delivering food from partners to local shelters as well as coordinating others, helping to get the word out in the community and with marketing and fundraisers.

Do you have an organization in your area that helps rescue food and get it into the hands of those who need it? You can start one in your area with the help of the team behind RLC.

Nominate someone you know who is making a positive difference in your community.