During the Dec. 15 meeting of the Los Alamos County Environmental Sustainability Board, Jaret McDonald pitched an idea beneficial on two fronts: curing Los Alamos of food insecurity and reducing food waste at the landfill.
To accomplish these objectives, McDonald suggested the County purchase stackable bins to distribute to local residents. Residents could fill up the bins with food they wish to donate and contact McDonald’s nonprofit organization, Famine to Feast, to pick up and deliver the food to the pantries such as LA Cares.
“We calculated if every household contributed a half-pound of food a month we wouldn’t have food insecurity in Los Alamos,” McDonald said.
He added that the program also would minimize the amount of material being sent to the landfill. McDonald’s wife and Famine to Feast co-founder, Jen McDonald, pointed out that 40 percent of food goes to waste every year across the U.S. and Famine to Feast offers another option to dispose of unwanted food.
“We’re actually eliminating food waste in the trash,” McDonald said. “We’re making a difference in the landfill and in people’s behavior.”
The McDonald’s said they hope people who strongly support the bins will contact their county councilors and voice their support for the idea.
Famine to Feast officially kicked off Nov. 5. The 501 c(3) nonprofit organization offers a website and an app for people to donate food to local food pantries. The app is available through iTunes and the website is faminetofeastnow.org.
The way it works is simple: participants enter the food items they wish to donate on either the app or the website and provide their location. The food will be picked up, a tax donation receipt will be printed, and the food will be delivered to the pantries. There is a list on the website identifying what can and cannot be donated.
“We’re an instant food drive in Los Alamos,” McDonald told Environmental Sustainability Board members during the Dec. 15 meeting.
Having the bins will help Famine to Feast in its operations, he said, because it will be a constant reminder for residents to donate food. He added Famine to Feast has already experienced remarkable success.
“We’re really excited,” McDonald said regarding the amount of support the community has shown to the organization. “We have found every sort of amazing person out there.”
His wife added that several cities throughout the U.S. have reached out to them to bring Famine to Feast to their areas including Austin, Texas, Portland, Ore., and Los Angeles, Calif.