Oklahoma City has started an innovative method to combat hunger and waste in the greater metropolitan area. Everyday, the Needs Foundation delivers 20,000 pounds of food to disadvantaged people across the city. They have currently teamed up with 20 fine dining and local establishments that donate their unwanted or unused food on a daily basis. Although, this is a mutually beneficial program, many restaurants in the area have been hesitant to get involved.
Many proprietors are supplying full meals to the Needs Foundation, even desserts that leaves them vulnerable to lawsuits if food poisoning or other problems occur with the food. This is currently too risky for many owners but state legislation has intervened with a bill to help make this project more of a success.
“This bill will make it so restaurants, bakeries, or people that make and provide food, will not be held liable, as long as they’re acting in good, reasonable faith,” says Representative Richard Morrissette.
Hopefully this will encourage more businesses to get involved because there is definitely a demand for more food. It is estimated that cost to feed the hungry in the Oklahoma City Metro Area would cost around 70 million a month. After the bill is in full effect the Needy Foundation will need just 28 percent of the local business to participate to get the required minimum of 90,000 pounds of food a day.
These are very realistic goals that could eventually eradicate hunger in the Oklahoma City area over the next few years. On average every bakery throws away 100 pounds of food and each restaurant throws out around 32 pounds. This would be a win-win situation for all parties involved and slow the build up of area landfills.
Organic material is the second leading component of landfills and various waste management companies throughout the United States spends around 100 billion dollars a year to transport food to various waste removal sites. This seems like a no brainer for not only Oklahoma City but every major metropolitan area to start using this method of proper waste management.
Oklahoma City has taken the initiative and is on the right path to eliminating hunger. It will be inexcusable for deprivation to continue in the United States and cities will have no choice but to adopt some version of this solution.