- The Plate
How Volunteers Turn Unwanted Produce Into 5,000 Meals
Free meals are not free to produce. Volunteers and hundreds of pounds of produce go into an event that raises awareness about food waste.
The mounds of eggplant that hit the chopping room floor on Tuesday didn’t look like much. They, along with the carrots, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and onions that flooded in for processing that morning, were too large, misshapen or otherwise on-their-way-out to display uniformly on a grocery store shelf.
But, in the hands of the Feeding The 5000 event crew and dozens and dozens of volunteers, the 2,000 pounds of otherwise wasted produce became its own sort of miracle: the pièce de résistance of an event aimed at transforming not only “ugly” vegetables, but also our mindsets about them. Bonus? Some of Washington, D.C.'s top chefs helped turn them into curry, paella and chili.
Organizers say 6,750 people were fed at the event in D.C. on Wednesday.