[WSBT] Notre Dame partners with culinary program to redistribute leftover food

By September 11, 2018Uncategorized

By Katlin Connin, reposted from WSBT.com

NOTRE DAME — Everyone likes second chances. How about a second chance for your food?

Community leaders are trying to rescue food from Saturday’s big game against Georgia.

Notre Dame stadium can hold more than 80,000 people.

As you can imagine a lot of food gets served but not all of it gets eaten.

The University of Notre Dame is partnering with a culinary group to make sure nothing gets wasted.

“We’re not creating chefs so much as we’re creating workers. Giving them job skills, teaching them food safety, teaching them to be line cooks,” said Randy Z, Co-Founder of Cultivate Culinary School.

“Not work in a fast food industry but really have a nice opportunity to work with a higher scale restaurant which is what our community needs,” said Kelly Hofferth with Cultivate.

Cultivate Culinary School was started to help struggling young people set out toward a new future. But the school’s good work didn’t end there.

“I don’t like to waste anything. So we were packaging up our leftovers from the class for the day and sending them home with some needy children in our class, or some families,” said Z.

Z and others from Notre Dame saw an opportunity.

“We know about 40-percent of our local community has difficulty just with some of the basic needs. This is an opportunity to take food that wasn’t being used rescue it and put it back out into the community,” said Jessica Brookshire, Associate Director for Public Affairs.

Z got in touch with Levy, who prepares food in the stadium for Notre Dame games. But now Cultivate is rescuing food from Nelson’s Barbeque and Century Center as well.

“To date, we have over 11,000 meals that we’ve created through this program,” said Hofferth.

The food is all untouched, unserved leftovers. It’s healthy too and you get at least a pound of it.

“You get a protein, a starch, and a vegetable. It’s all made by top chefs in the community. It’s not been stepped on by any chemicals, preservatives, anything,” Z said.

The meals come in big trays for families or single serving containers. They’re frozen but only take four minutes to heat up.

“Everybody has a microwave and anybody can use this,” Hofferth said.

The group partners with local food banks to distribute the meals. They’re handed out to hungry people and families throughout the South Bend area.

The packaging costs about 75-cents per meal for Cultivate. Hofferth says they’re looking for volunteers and funding to offset the costs and keep this program going.