April 28th marks the fifth annual Stop Food Waste Day, a day of action established by Compass Group USA in 2017 to raise awareness of the critical food-waste issues facing our world. It’s a day to recognize how food waste impacts our environment, our economy, and our people, and to share the knowledge and solutions to create change.
The Stop Food Waste Day mission has never been more important than it is now. Communities across the country have persevered through incredible hardships, and access to nourishment has at many times been strained this past year. In fact, about one in four households has experienced food insecurity at some point in the last year, a number that has doubled due to the economic hardships associated with the pandemic. Bottom line: food waste and food security are inextricably linked.
In honor of Stop Food Waste Day, we’re proud to share how our people have come together to battle these incredibly important issues, utilizing excess provisions to reduce waste and provide for their communities. Below are just a few of the many stories from across the Levy Family.
Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre Reach a Food Donation Milestone
This past March, our Enterprise Center and Stifel Theatre team celebrated its 15th anniversary with non-profit hunger relief organization Operation Food Search. To-date, the collaboration has provided more than 1.1 million donated meals made with provisions from St. Louis Blues home games and other Enterprise Center events. The arena’s donated food—which for a typical Blues home game averages 1,000 pounds—is either picked up by OFS or nearby St. Patrick Center and then distributed to those experiencing food insecurity.
Los Angeles Convention Center Serves Its Three-Millionth Community Meal During the Pandemic
LA Convention Center teamed with UNITE HERE Local 11 and the Hospitality Training Academy to establish the “Serving Our Community” program, which has prepared and delivered three million meals to Angelenos. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the program has employed 1,100 workers in the hospitality, food service and taxi industries who were laid off due to the pandemic. With funding primarily from the City of Los Angeles and County of Los Angeles, the meals have served 10,000 homebound seniors, people experiencing homelessness and low-income families.
Moda Center Provides Tribal Nation Communities Access to Healthy, Sustainable Meals
The Moda Center Levy team partnered with The Wave Foundation, a regional coalition that collaborates to accelerate environmental programs that address climate change, youth engagement, and environmental justice. This particular partnership has provided healthy, sustainable, regional, and culturally relevant foods to Tribal Nation communities of the Pacific Northwest.
Texas Venues Fuel Winter Storm Recovery Efforts
With extended periods of record-breaking snowfall and low temperatures critically impacting infrastructure and access to food and water across areas of Texas earlier this year, several Levy venues came together to aid recovery efforts.
Our Austin FC team provided free lunch at six locations over three days around Austin. In total, the team served more than 1,500 meals in collaboration with several restaurant partners at the stadium.
In Houston, George R. Brown Convention Center mobilized as a warming center, providing shelter and warm meals to those left in the cold by the storms. Toyota Center also donated its inventory of bottled water to those left without running water. And, nearby in College Station, our Texas A&M team donated cases of bottled water to Aggie student-athletes. Lastly, in Dallas, our AmericanAirlines Center team donated food and supplies to a local food bank from cancelled Stars and Mavericks games.
Sooner Football Hospitality Rallies for Local Food Pantry
Our OU Sooner teams partnered with Learfield, Feed the Children, and Whataburger to donate food to the OU Food Pantry prior to the last home game of the season. Nearly eight pallets were filled with food and other essentials. The OU Food Pantry is located on the Norman campus and services all OU students, faculty, and staff. The pantry is run by university students and receives funding from local community members who support the mission to end food insecurity.
Cultivated Team at Javits Center Lives Sustainability Promise
The Cultivated hospitality team prioritizes sustainable operations and putting every last morsel to good use. Honey used for Javits Center events is produced on-site. Executive Chef Marc Tourtollet routinely lends his knowledge at events like last year’s Climate Week NYC. And the team has become adept at pickling leftover produce for future menu applications. Javits Center has also been on the front lines feeding first responders and military and medical personnel throughout the pandemic.