Plenty of Food to Go Around | Teen Ink

Plenty of Food to Go Around

May 1, 2019
By Claire_Elizabeth BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
Claire_Elizabeth BRONZE, New Orleans, Louisiana
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

My hometown, New Orleans, Louisiana, is a world-famous destination for tourists, and it is a city known for its excellent cuisine.  There are so many types of restaurants here in New Orleans such as seafood, French, Vietnamese, Cajun, and Italian, just to name a few. In addition, restaurants usually order and prepare an abundance of food to make sure that they will not run out of it for a while.  One problem, however, is what restaurants do with their unused food. They usually discard it a couple of days before its expiration date to ensure the maximum freshness of the food for the customers. Moreover, New Orleans, unfortunately, is also known for things that are not so nice, such as high crime, low-income residents, and homeless people.  Many people go hungry every day in the city, and even low-income children, who are provided breakfast at schools, do not have a way to eat breakfast during the summer break. On the surface, food waste and starving people might seem like two separate problems, but they do relate to one another, and they can possibly be solved together.

A possible solution to reducing both food waste and hunger could be reached by combining these two problems into a win-win situation for both the restaurant and those less fortunate.  The extra food that the restaurants have prepared or the raw food that is reaching its expiration date can be given to those who are unable to provide food for themselves. While it may seem like a difficult task to get food to those in need, it is not impossible.  A network of food trucks would need to be established to collect all of the discarded, yet still edible, food. These food trucks would drive around to different locations to help feed as many people as possible. This program could be modeled after Meals on Wheels, which is a program where volunteers prepare and deliver meals mostly to housebound elderly people.  The main difference from this proposal is that it would deliver leftover meals from local restaurants to neighborhood centers or to locations where the homeless tend to gather. For any raw food reaching its expiration date, the trucks could deliver the food to local shelters for their use in preparing meals. This program really should not be too difficult to get started because there are only a few simple factors to it.  All that would be needed is donated trucks plus a small volunteer workforce to pick up and deliver the food.

The solution to providing excess restaurant food could go a long way to reducing food waste as well as improving the health and welfare of those less fortunate.  By establishing a food truck network, this high quality, delicious food would be delivered to those in need. Studies have shown that Meals on Wheels participants have significantly improved nutritional and social opportunities for those that use the program.  Similarly, this program could increase the nutritional levels for those that are able to receive the food. It would also benefit children who get their breakfast and lunch from school cafeterias because they would be able to have three meals a day during the summer break. It could also be an opportunity where neighbors can get to know each other.  Restaurants would be encouraged to participate in this program since it would be good publicity for them and would increase their sense of community, knowing they are providing a better life better for so many people in desperate need. In addition, those people who work in restaurants would not feel guilty about wasting unused, fresh food. As more and more restaurants participate in the program, more trucks will be needed and ultimately more people will be fed.  This program would be a good way to combine two problems that may seem different from each other, but they can ultimately be solved together.

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.