August 17, 2021

Wasted Kosher Food for the Poor

If you should somehow hang around at a Bar Mitzvah or wedding until the end, you might notice that wrapped up large trays with covers are taken by volunteers who then distribute the food either to individual poor people, to organizations like Met Council on Jewish Poverty or soup kitchens like Masbia. This is by no means a New York phenomenon as this scene repeats itself in many cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Miami. I recently read about bills that were making their way through the New York City Council that require “wasted food” or leftovers to be donated to charity.

It seems that the kosher community is well ahead of the need for legislation. In fact, many community leaders told me that it is “pretty routine” for leftover foods to be distributed to agencies that serve the poor. America wastes roughly 40 percent of its food. Of the estimated 125 to 160 billion pounds of food that goes to waste every year, much of it is perfectly edible and nutritious.