By Beckie Liwacz
Across the past week or two, we’ve seen major conventions cancelled, tours postponed and seasons suspended. In preparation for all of these games, concerts, conferences, and other events, the food was already onsite and being readied by executive chefs and their culinary and/or concessions teams. With news of these cancellations, what happens to all that food?
Spectra, an international venue management and food services & hospitality company, has been working with its convention centers across North America to identify opportunities for food recovery, donating into the local community or among part-time staff. In many instances, Spectra is collaborating with Food Recovery Network, a national nonprofit that fights food waste, to locate the most appropriate place for the food donation.
A handful of examples include (we have many more):
Mayo Civic Center (Rochester, Minn.)—The multi-purpose convention center and event facility donated 300+ pounds to a local food bank and another 200+ pounds to venue staff.
Utah Valley Convention Center (Provo, Utah)—Delivered all the center’s perishables to the Provo-based Food and Care Coalition.
Owensboro Convention Center (K.Y.)—Donated all produce and dairy products to local Daniel Pitino and St. Benedict shelters.
Atlantic City Convention Center/Boardwalk Hall (N.J)—Donated all perishables to the Salvation Army, AC Rescue Mission, and the Boys & Girls Club of America.
Ocean Center (Dayton Beach, Fla.)—Scheduled pick-ups for local community organizations.
Columbus Convention & Trade Center (Columbus, Ga.)—Donated produce to SafeHouse Ministries, an organization that serves homeless, addicted, and/or incarcerated men and women as they transition back into the Columbus community.
Beckie Liwacz is a Communications Publicist with Spectra.