Rogers Place Donates Leftovers to Edmonton Food Bank

Connector Winter 2017

A lot of food is prepared for hockey games and concerts at Rogers Place – and it doesn’t all get eaten.

But not all the leftovers end up in a dumpster. The Rock and Wrap It Up program tries to ensure that quality food left over after events is donated to the Edmonton Food Bank.

Since November, Rogers Place has donated 2,880 lbs of food – or about 2,216 meals – to those who need it most. Every few weeks, the food bank arrives with a refrigerated truck to pick up between 500 and 700 pounds of prepared food.

The whole process of donating the food is carefully monitored by Alberta Health Services, said Edmonton Food Bank spokesperson Tamisan Bencz-Knight. It is prepared in the arena’s industrial kitchen and has not yet been plated.

“You’ll have soups that just sit in the pot, waiting, or you have pork chops and steaks and everything that … just had to be warmed up, but then they don’t use it,” she said.

“They package those properly for us, based on Alberta Health Services guidelines, then they give us a call.”

Rogers Place executive chef Johnny Blackerby said a surplus of food is a part of the business, and the program is a great way to deal with the leftovers.

“We do a lot of strategic planning on trying not to overproduce, of course,” Blackerby said. “But at the end of every large event, we do have some overproduction. We just can’t run out of food in our business, so that kind of leads to some of the overproduction.”

Leftover food is cooled or frozen and placed in foil packs with lids. So far, Rogers Place has donated “a little bit of everything,” he said. That includes hot vegetables and starch, and dishes like butter chicken and rice with mixed vegetables, or teriyaki beef, fried rice and vegetables.

“It just makes sense to donate it to somebody who could use that food and have a healthy meal, as opposed to putting it down the drain.”

The Shaw Conference Centre, Northlands, The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald and Westin Hotel also take part in the program.

Source: CBC News