Giving in the Time of a Pandemic
By: Ryan Bailey, Food Management Coordinator


Last week marked the 1-year anniversary of our food donation program in the Bay Area. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it doesn’t seem like the best time to celebrate milestones, however, it is still important to recognize some of our achievements and give thanks.

With two goals in mind – minimizing food waste and helping our local community – we work with local organizations to donate and distribute unused, prepared food from our cafes to those in need. As our first year came to an end, we had successfully donated 152,858 meals and diverted 182,759 lbs. of food from landfills and compost.

Covid-19 Donation Initiatives

When the current government-issued restrictions took place in March, we had to cease culinary operations and pause the “excess prepared” food donation program, but instead of stopping there, our team pivoted its focus to raw product donations. Items that would have spoiled in the walk-ins were donated to our partners nationwide, resulting in over 68,000 pounds of food that was given out to families in need.

  • Bay Area: 45,200 lbs.
  • New York: 2,500 lbs.
  • Boston: 417 lbs.
  • Seattle: 9,500 lbs.
  • Chicago: 2,000 lbs.
  • Washington D.C.: 250 lbs.
  • Los Angeles: 250 lbs.
  • Austin, TX: 7,940 lbs.

During times like this, it is ever more rewarding to do our part. With resources being so scarce and trips to grocery stores being extra risky for some, we are happy that we can provide nutrition, safety and wellbeing to many while continuing with our mission of minimizing food waste and supporting our local communities.