Oklahoma Restaurants Team Up With Foundation To Feed The Hungry

The Needs Foundation donates un-served food from catering events or restaurants to area churches and food pantries.

Thursday, September 13th 2012, 5:53 pm

Un-served restaurant food typically goes right in the trash. Meanwhile, thousands of people are starving. Now a unique Oklahoma City charity is linking the two up.

The Needs Foundation donates un-served food from catering events or restaurants to area churches and food pantries. It also donates bread and pastries that are still good but have been replaced on shelves to make room for new.

On Thursday morning, workers from the Needs foundation were loading up boxes and boxes of Krispy Kreme donuts, still days away from their expiration date.

"We would actually be throwing them away," said Krispy Kreme manager Ladona Andrews. "But we also found we would have people coming into our dumpsters and getting them and we don't want that."

Instead the donated donuts Thursday were taken to the City Rescue Mission and the Jesus House.

"It's a tremendous help whenever we can get food items like this," said Jesus House Executive Director Rick Denny. "It takes tremendous pressure off our kitchen and off of our other donor supplies."

Joey Abbo and his friends cooked up the idea for the charity.

"A few years back we all worked in the food industry and saw how much food was thrown away at the end of the evening," said Abbo.

But getting it to those who need it wasn't that simple. Such a concept serves up a host of legal and food safety issues.

But attorneys were able to draw up legal documents that release restaurants who donate food from liability. And a logistics team makes sure perishable food gets to its destination and served up while still fresh.

"There's quite a few churches in the area that have food pantries," said Abbo.

The Needs Foundation has about 20 restaurants that currently participate.

"There's a lot of restaurants that do want to participate, it's just a matter of getting the means and funds and the vehicles to be on a regular schedule," said Abbo.

Abbo says it costs only about 6 cents per pound of food to deliver.

To help with the costs, the Needs Foundation is having a fundraiser with Russell Westbrook on September 29.

Find out more about the Needs Foundation and how you can help!



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