Celebrity Chefs To Distribute Olympic Leftovers To The Hungry

Credit: Stux, CC
Credit: Stux, CC

During the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, kitchens the size of two football fields will be producing a mass amount of meals – 60,000 per day, to be exact – to feed all of the competitors and their teams. Undoubtedly, some of that food will go to waste.

To prevent mass amounts of food from ending up in landfills, two celebrity chefs have teamed up together to launch a pilot project which will recover and repurpose leftovers from the kitchens.

CityLab reports that culinary activists Massimo Bottura and David Hertz will work with a team to salvage unused food from the Olympic Village catering services beginning August 9th. The chefs are optimistic that they can retrieve 12 tons of kitchen scraps – enough to prepare approximately 100 dinners each night thought the competition.  With the help of all involved, hungry citizens of the Lapa neighborhood in the city of Rio will receive hot meals free of charge throughout the event.

The soup kitchen is a joint effort by Rio’s city government, the IOC’s sustainable food initiative, Hertz’s Gastromotiva organization, and Bottura’s Food for Soul non-profit. After the games, the space will be converted into a community center featuring cooking classes and other food-related projects.

It is the chefs’ goal to use the Olympic Games to launch a local effort to combat hunger in the community while raising awareness about the issue of food waste, which affects millions worldwide.

Massimo Bottura and David Hertz at the Rio Olympics Credit: gamberorosso.it
Massimo Bottura and David Hertz at the Rio Olympics
Credit: gamberorosso.it

Said Hertz in a statement:

“We need to empower people on the ground. They can make the change happen.”

At present, nearly 35% of produce is regularly wasted in Brazil. To solve this conundrum, the São Paulo city council is considering a bill that would require businesses to donate unused or unsold food to charity. The UN is also working to set up a network of NGOs and universities to mine food waste in the region.

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