We had a great response to our Food Recovery Case Study on our last blog, so we wanted to follow it up with some tips so YOU can start a program at your next event! Courtney Lohmann, Director of Culture and lover of food recovery programs agreed to help us out. Check out her suggestions below!
#1 - START EARLY
As planners, starting early usually comes naturally (like 90% of the time, right?). But with food rescue, it’s even more important. If you can, work the food recovery plan directly into the RFP. That way, everyone from your hotel to your DMC, caterers and partners knows what you want to do from the start and the expectation is set.
#2 - DESIGNATE A POINT PERSON
Your point person may change from project to project because each hotel and organization may be a little different. So whether it’s a hotel CSM, a chef or someone from your own team, identifying a point person early on will set you up for success.
#3 - DEFINE THE PROCESS
This is an important step because every time you do a food rescue program, it might be slightly different. Your first conversation should be with your main food contact, whether that’s the hotel, catering company or venue. Common questions should be “How do you handle the food once it’s pulled for the rescue?” “Do you have bins or do I need to provide them?” “Where is the food stored?” and “What labeling process do we need to put into place?” Asking the right questions and defining the process with the right details will ensure that the food is safely and successfully donated.
And now for some bonus FAQs!
Q: Don’t I have to worry about liability issues?
A: As long as you are working with a licensed food kitchen and they are following the proper protocol, you should be covered under Good Samaritan Laws. However, it’s important to check the laws specific to your state.
Q: Where can I find an organization who will accept my food?
A: If you are familiar with the area your program is in, look locally for food kitchens and food banks that have good reputations or that you know personally. If you are traveling to an area where you may not be as familiar, try FeedingAmerica.org, an organization who works with these types of services all over the US.
We hope you feel like you have the tools to get a food recovery program started at your next event. Of course, we are happy to help make it a success as well, so for help with your next meeting or program (and implementing food recovery!) call us at 800.510.5268