Rockin’ Waste

Today, I learned a little more about a new area for me—avoiding food waste at concerts and sporting events. I was excited to learn more about this area from Syd Mandelbaum of Rock and Wrap It Up! (their exclamation point, not mine).

The New York non-profit launched in 1991, but started operating nationally in 1993 when it got The Black Crowes (remember them?) to mandate that all excess backstage food be donated to food shelters. Ever since, Rock and Wrap It Up! has been getting individual acts (The Rolling Stones, Kenny Chesney), venues (Jones Beach Theater, BankAtlantic Center) and tours (Ozzfest, Lollapalooza) to donate unsold and unused food.

Most of the time, the donations are concession stand items that have been prepared but not sold. That can be anything from burgers and dogs to subs and salads. Plus, they’re all wrapped, so contamination is not a worry.

Along the way, Rock and Wrap It Up! involved sports teams, too. There are now 24 franchises that donate unsold food. What began with the Detroit Tigers and pitcher Mike Maroth, now includes the Red Sox, Yankees, Mets, Braves, Knicks, N.Y. Rangers, Florida Panthers, Patriots and N.Y. Giants.

Mandelbaum said that the largest postgame donations come from the (football) Giants. While that’s not shocking, given Giants’ Stadium’s 80,000 capacity, one game usually yields 1,200 meals! Now that’s worth an exclamation point.

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  1. […] On the plus side, the food can be donated because it’s not a buffet and the hot dogs are wrapped. If this trend must spread, hopefully it’ll do so with Rock and Wrap It Up!, a food recovery group that coordinates stadium donations.  […]

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