Two weeks ago Airbnb hired Food Shift to manage the recovery and redistribution of surplus food from their four-day, 800 person all-staff convention in San Francisco. Despite the wind and rain, we worked closely with Off the Grid, La Cocina, Paula le Duc and other vendors to ensure 1,855 lbs. was kept out of the landfill and redistributed to food assistance agencies through Food Runners.
Carolyn Lasar, an Oakland-based food entrepreneur and mother of two, served as Food Shift’s on-site Project Manager.
“I felt like we were all together on one big team. Everyone I spoke with seemed to have shared my same experience at some point in the past; seeing good food go to waste. And we all felt in our hearts ‘This is so wrong!’ but at the time had no alternative,” she said.
“Food Shift is that alternative! Everyone gave whatever they had generously and willingly. And everyone was delighted to know that the food they had worked so hard to prepare would extend beyond this event and out into the community of San Francisco to those in need,” Carolyn said.
We received glowing praises from Gavin Crynes from Fare Resources who helped to coordinate the food at the event. “Food Shift’s working style was very collaborative, tailoring their services specifically to our event. They worked seamlessly with caterers and food trucks to package extra food and distribute it to appropriate agencies in San Francisco. The most exciting part was, due to their real-time documentation, we were able to adjust food portions to better suit the attendees and decrease food excess throughout the event,” he said.
“Food Shift brings a level of consciousness and logistical support that can suit any event, large or small, and divert potential food waste to those agencies feeding hungry communities,” Gavin said.
And Gabriel Cole, the Culinary Curator at Airbnb praised our work.
“Food Shift put my mind at ease in more ways then one. They provided logistical support, communications and invaluable insights into alternate ways of looking at food at the end of its lifecycle. They worked with the caterers to each day to ensure surplus food amounts from the day before were discussed to better prepare for amounts day-of. I am so ecstatic to continue to partner with Food Shift in any number of ways as together we explore the good food fight,” Gabriel said.
This is a huge milestone for Food Shift as it moves us one step closer to our dream of providing green jobs in the recovery and redistribution of surplus food. Food recovery has not yet been made a standard part of event management but Food Shift is changing that. Airbnb has demonstrated leadership and a commitment to the community and the environment by having the forethought to hire our team to make sure their abundance was shared with neighbors in need. Big thanks to Airbnb and all the vendors and partners who made it possible. We hope more companies will follow in their path!