Every week, these chefs create and deliver 1,600 pints of soup to hungry individuals.
On a single night in 2014, an estimated 578,424 people were sleeping on the streets or residing in an emergency shelter, according to End Homelessness statistics. That tragedy coupled with food waste is enough to irritate any activist. However, a chef from Ohio is one of the few to actually address the issue and present a solution.
Chef Suzy DeYoung is frustrated by Ohio’s homeless crisis and the amount of food it wastes, therefore, has enlisted a small army of fellow chefs at leading restaurants in the city to put an end to the hunger. She told the media, “Cincinnati has such a ridiculous amount of hunger.”
She launched the La Soupe project, which brings together grocery managers at Kroger stores – donating produce they can’t sell – with volunteer chefs who chop it up. The produce is then served as nutritious soup to homeless and low-income citizens.
Volunteers assist DeYoung by chopping in her “Bucket Brigade.” As a unit, they create and deliver 1,600 pints of soup to the hungry every week.
When the chefs realized that the nature of seasonal vegetables could mean large donations of a single kind of produce at a time (for example, one week with lots of zucchini, another with cauliflower), they decided to get creative and invent new soups and stews.
Every month, the volunteers gather about 4,000 pounds of food. If it wasn’t rescued, it would be dumped into the trash. Thankfully, the team is putting it to good use while helping individuals down on their luck.
The Cincinnati Enquirer relays that the Bucket Brigade also delivers the homemade soup to five schools around the city every Friday. Throughout the week, they deliver to another five or six feeding centers.
According to chef Todd Kelly, the secret is to transform odd or unusual vegetables into dishes kids will be inclined to eat. The task can be hard, but more often than not, the troupe succeeds.
“It’s not going to solve world hunger, but it’s definitely going to help do a dent.”
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