Some friends and I sat laughing and talking in a local Atlanta Bread Company, and it was near closing time. We could see all the employees going about their ordinary closing and cleaning duties. We were taken by surprise when we saw what was to happen to all the left over food behind the counter.
We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. The bagels were being put into a trash bag. Dozens of them. Then the loaves of bread went next. Again dozens of them. By the time the clerk was finished, bag was too heavy to life and had to be dragged out the back door. Thus another trash bag was opened and all the other baked goods were tossed in. We couldn’t believe it. Nearly two full bags of perfectly good food looked like it was heading for the trash. Unbelievable.
I had to find out what was going on. I went to the counter and asked if they were actually going to throw out all of that perfectly good food. The reply was yes, that was what would happen this night. No charity was scheduled to take it.
They have a policy there at Atlanta Bread Company about the unsold food. If there is no charity that has requested the end of the day unsold baked goods, it goes to the trash. They couldn’t just give it to anyone, believe me I tried that one. So because no charity was scheduled to get the day’s end food, it would head to the nether-lands of the dumpster. What a waste!
Atlanta Bread Company is not the only company that gives away end of the day unsold goods. Panera Bread does as well. All a charity had to do at either of these places is speak with a manager about their end of the day unsold baked goods. A letter from someone who runs the charity is also helpful to have on hand to present to the manager as well. These companies don’t like to see perfectly good food go to waste just because some food service government regulation says they can’t sell it the next day. So giving it to charities just makes sense.
After speaking to the manager all you have to do is find out what day and time your particular group can come and get the food. It is best to have some kind of food handling carrier, like a plastic tub, with you to put it in. Then at closing time you and your container get filled to overflowing with food that could very well save a life, or at the very least make someone who lives hand to mouth happy the next morning.
So, if you are part of a charity or know of one that is, take advantage of this opportunity and feed some hungry people. Go to your local Panera Bread, Atlanta Bread Company, or other shop like it and ask. What do you have to lose? The worse thing that they can say is no, and then it is on them the people that could have been feed. Who knows, you might actually make a significant change in some needy persons life.