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Reply #155: It's a sin to see so much food go to waste. [View All]

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Beacool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Feb-01-09 05:07 PM
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155. It's a sin to see so much food go to waste.
I live in upscale Hoboken, NJ (home to Gov. Corzine and Sen. Menendez). We have one shelter that feeds the homeless breakfast and dinner. There is also room for 50 people to sleep the night. The shelter is run by all the churches and the jewish temple in the city. My Lutheran church is the only church in town that feeds lunch to the homeless. We used to open only for lunch, but started opening at 8:30 AM so people would have a place to go once they leave the shelter for the day. Both the shelter and the church have seen the number of people who show up to eat more than double in the last couple of years, but unfortunately donations are down. The lunch program is financed solely by the parishioners and we are not a big church. Hoboken is on the edge of the Hudson right across the river from Manhattan and many of its residents work or worked in the financial district. The town has been hit hard by the downturn and people can't give like they used to. Heck, some are struggling almost as much as the people we feed daily. Donations at the shelter have gone down by 60% in the last few months.

I do though have to commend some businesses that regularly give, such as Duncan Donuts. There is one in particular that donates a big garbage bag full of goodies every night to the shelter and has been doing so for years. The local BJs in neighboring Jersey City has also been very generous, as are some local businesses in town (there are several delis that donate pounds of cold cuts on a monthly basis). Having said that, the demand is so high now that we are struggling. It's sad that warehouses, due to liability reasons, can't donate this imperfect food to the local shelters and churches.

I work in a Fortune 100 and we used to waste a lot of food. I brought to the lunch program left overs many times. Bags of bagels, tubs of cream cheese, jelly, etc. until I was told once that I couldn't do it anymore because the company would be liable if someone got sick. I still did it anyway, I just sneaked it out. There isn't much entertainment lately and few chances to take stuff.

Take care and I hope that you never go hungry.

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