What do YOU do with leftover food? I am referring to food that has not yet been served to guests. In Amelia Island, Fla., the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island is taking advantage of the Florida Restaurant Lending a Helping Hand act to donate thousands of pounds of unused, excess food. Each night, members of the resort’s culinary team package and prepare any unused food for pickup. Community volunteers then transfer the large food quantities into individual containers in accordance with federal health regulations. Packaged meals are distributed to residents by the Barnabas Center, a locally operated USDA-authorized food pantry. The remaining food is served following a weekly church service at the Salvation Army Hope House, and provided to a local homeless shelter and transition home.
The food donation project was initiated by executive chef Thomas Tolxdorf as he searched for a beneficial way to contribute the untouched, edible excess food generated by the 1,500 meals served daily at the 444-room oceanfront resort. Nearly 90 percent of the donated food is generated by catered group events.
The food donation program is one of three primary initiatives within the framework of Community Footprints, a companywide corporate social responsibility effort of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., L.L.C. Other core focus areas include environmental conservation and the well-being of disadvantaged children.