Feeding the 5000 has teamed up with several coalitions in Maine in order to bring attention to the issue of food waste, while at the same time, feeding thousands of people stew from produce that would have otherwise gone to waste. The feast will take place in Monument Square on October 7th, from 11am - 4pm, and will be followed by Portland’s First Friday Art Walk. Most of the food being served during this event will come from gleaning efforts. Volunteers will visit Maine farms to pick produce that otherwise would have remained unharvested by machines or pickers.
As highlighted by the Cumberland County Security Council, one of the co-hosts of this event, many Mainers are unable to put healthy meals on their tables because they are limited by their income. In August 2015, Cumberland County listed over 30,000 people utilizing SNAP benefits, a third of which were children. More information regarding food security in Cumberland County can be found here.
The “clear your plate” mindset is only a small portion of the solution to minimizing food waste. This community endeavor will hopefully inspire businesses and individuals alike to minimize their food waste, or contribute their leftovers to local food banks. Here at Fork, we see great potential in value-added products as a way to repurpose farm seconds and still make them profitable.
Fork Food Lab is excited to be a part of this event by hosting the Disco Chop Party which is scheduled to take place on October 5th. Volunteers will be preparing the acquired produce, jammin’ out to music, and learning about food waste from speakers and guest chefs.