Rockin’ and Wrappin’

This past Thursday and Friday, I witnessed stadium food donation in action. The non-profit group Rock and Wrap It Up! facilitated both events, a Mets game and a Bob Dylan concert. 

The baseball game was postponed due to an incoming storm. While disappointing for both baseball fans and bloggers, the rain out was a boon for food donation. Because the game was cancelled at around 7:45 p.m., ARAMARK concessions had twice as much food as usual left over.

After the Mets called the game, I went around with Jason Haverkost, an ARAMARK manager who also oversees the donation program. We cruised from one concession stand to another and asked what they had to donate. Using all available receptacles, including beer boxes and tin trays, Haverkost collected the hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken, pretzels and pizza slices wrapped to go. He loaded the food onto a wheeled cart, while other stands brought their own excess down to the depot-like commissary.

One particularly busy concession stand had the following amount of food to donate: 143 hamburgers, 227 foot-long hot dogs, 83 regular hot dogs, 29 corn dogs, 7 plates of chicken fingers and french fries and a full tray of chicken breasts.

On the whole, ARAMARK and the Mets donate most of what they have prepared but not sold. Still, there’s some waste. As I saw, weather is one culprit. For instance, had the game continued, the stands would have sold more chicken finger/french fry combos. But after sitting for an hour or two, the fries were mushy, and an employee threw away two whole trays. Other waste comes when food isn’t properly handled–like unwrapped hot dogs–and can’t be donated.

By 10 p.m., Haverkost and others had loaded two whole carts of food into a blue minivan. The food was headed to the Samaritan Hands Outreach Center in nearby Arverne, N.Y., where it would be distributed to seven recipients.

Here are some pictures from the evening.

                                                                                                    [End hunger.]

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