Super Bowl Food Giveaway Helps People In Need

In a historic first, tasty prepared food leftovers from this major US sporting event were saved for thousands of people in the Miami area.

Feb 16, 2020

(beats1 / Shutterstock.com)

For the first time ever, over 35,000 pounds of fresh food leftovers from one of the biggest sporting events of the year, the Super Bowl, has been gathered and served to hungry people rather than just being disposed of. This is a compassionate and environmentally-friendly alternative to sending a huge quantity of useable food to landfills, as happened until now. Kudos to the many bighearted people who were part of the partnership between the NFL Green Initiative, Centerplate Hospitality, and Food Rescue US, especially all the volunteers who worked together to help make this happen!

Kindness in action saved food for those who needed it most

On the morning after the Super Bowl this year, seeing the Kansas City Chiefs’ victory over the San Francisco 49ers, volunteers gathered at Hard Rock Stadium to collect, pack and ship huge amounts of usable leftover food. This included barbecue chicken, ribs, beef tenderloin, salmon, macaroni and cheese, and charcuteries plates.

This food was saved from concession stands, VIP catered sections, suites and other areas that had offered delish dishes to the huge crowds taking part in Super Bowl LIB events in 2020.

It took volunteers from Food Rescue US a reported three days to pack and deliver all the donated leftovers to the places where they could be most appreciated. These included the Broward Outreach Center and Broward Partnership for the Homeless, the Lotus House Shelter, Camillus House, and the Miami Rescue Mission.

“It’s a full volunteer job. We just want to help people in need,” said Ellen Bowen, the director of Food Rescue US-Miami. She estimated that enough food was gathered to feed around 20,000 people. “It’s amazing to see how much food there is that otherwise would have been thrown in the trash that can now feed so many people, “she added.

More about the main actors behind the Super Bowl’s first major food recovery initiative

The stars of this first-time collaboration knew that while for many households in the US, the Super Bowl is a time to indulge in good food, things can look different for families struggling with food insecurity. An estimated one in seven people experience hunger in Florida where Super Bowl LIV was held on Feb 2, according to Carol Shattuck, CEO of Food Rescue US.

FOOD RESCUE US is an organization on a mission to “fill plates, not landfills” by using the tools of our digitally connected world to “bridge the gap between excess and access”. It operates in 25 US locations. If there’s fresh and healthy food that can be rescued, their app will connect food donors offering healthy leftover food with volunteer “food rescuers” and receiving social service agencies such as shelters, to ensure that useable food gets delivered to people who need it, and stop it ending up in landfills.

NFL Green, the National Football League’s environmental program, works on a number of community events and initiatives to leave a positive benefit in each Super Bowl host community. For the Super Bowl in 2020, it worked with organizations in Miami to ensure comprehensive recycling, donate reusable materials including sports equipment and books, and plant several thousand tree seedlings in the Miami area.

Centerplate is the food and beverage caterer at Hard Rock Stadium and the Miami Beach Convention Center working to create locally-inspired menus. Said Dayanny de la Cruz, Executive Chef of Centerplate at Hard Rock Stadium. “Our Centerplate team is proud to give back to the communities we serve, and to ensure that the meals we create can also support those in need, thanks to the efforts of the volunteer food rescue teams.”

It is clear that repurposing usable meals solves multiple problems. It benefits both people facing food insecurity, and the environment. Thanks to the many caring volunteers and organizations at this year’s Super Bowl, this became a win-win situation.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE:
Father and Son Help Homeless People One Meal at a Time
Inspirational 13-Year-Old is Growing Love!
This Bakery's Sweet Mission is to Mentor Underserved Youth

DAPHNE KASRIEL ALEXANDER, EDITOR IN CHIEF
Daphne has a background in editing, writing and global trends. She is inspired by trends seeing more people care about sharing and protecting resources, enjoying experiences over products and celebrating their unique selves. Making the world a better place has been a constant motivation in her work.