Environment: Making it better wherever you are
I spent last week at a conference in a hotel in San Francisco. Breakfast and lunch arrived each day spread across long tables - a glorious array of fine food. At the end of one day, my co-worker asked the banquet manager what happens to the large amount of leftovers. She asked if she could take some outside to the homeless people on the street.
He shook his head firmly, ”No, I am sorry to tell you that the health department will not permit us to give any of this food away.”
She persisted, “Well, then, how if you bring me a few to-go boxes so I can take some home?”
The manager smiled, “Sure. I’ll bring you some boxes right away.”
We waste a lot of food in America. Thankfully there are several great organizations that are working hard to distribute what is perfectly good food to those in need. One such idea that just started last summer is “Daily Table”, a concept developed by Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, a chain of grocery stores that started out in California back in 1958 and now has 457 stores in over 40 states.
Here’s more on the Daily Table story from their website:
Daily Table is a not-for-profit retail store that offers our community a variety of tasty, convenient and affordable foods that will help you feel and be your best; food that will keep you moving forward, not hold you back. We provide both “grab-n-go” ready to eat meals, and a selection of produce, bread, dairy and grocery items all at prices that will put a smile on your face, and designed to fit within every budget.
Many of our items are prepared fresh daily in our own kitchen onsite. We offer an upbeat, clean and friendly retail store environment that is open to everyone in the community. We can offer these daily values by working with a large network of growers, supermarkets, manufacturers, and other suppliers who donate their excess, healthy food to us, or provide us with special buying opportunities.
In this way, we are able to keep prices affordable for all our customers. Our meals are priced to compete with fast food options, making it easier for families to eat healthier within their means. And all the food in our store is informed by guidelines set for us by a leading group of nutrition experts, which makes it easy for our customers to make great food choices.
Founded by Doug Rauch, former president of Trader Joe’s, Daily Table opened its first store June 4, 2015 in Dorchester, a diverse residential community in Boston. There are plans to open additional stores in both the greater Boston area and additional cities across the country.
Working together we can help reduce both the effects of poor eating habits caused by challenging economics, and the impact that wasted food and its precious resources has on our environment.
If you happen to live near Boston and want to help out with the first phase of this project, you can volunteer!
Daily Table seeks the assistance of volunteers who believe in our mission and want to help. We are looking for volunteers to work either on a regular schedule or on occasion at our pilot store located at 450 Washington Street in Dorchester, MA. Volunteer assignments will vary based on need and may include labeling, packaging, dishwashing, stocking, sorting, light kitchen prep, the tasting station, administrative assignments and gleaning on farms.
You can find more ways to help here.