Restaurant owner starts free food program - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Restaurant owner starts free food program

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News release from LGL Media Partners

(Albany, GA) July 20, 2011 – Local restaurant owner BJ Fletcher, challenges local restaurants to feed meals to the needy in our community.  During this difficult economy, many seniors on fixed incomes find themselves having to choose between medications and groceries. 

Some may not be able to prepare meals for themselves without assistance.  Summertime is especially difficult for school children that rely on subsidized school lunch programs that are not provided unless school is in session.

Food waste remains a persistent problem at restaurants.  Farmers, restaurants and supermarkets throw away millions of tons of edible food each year at a time when people struggle to put food on the table.  "There are 10 buffet-style restaurants and other high volume restaurants like Ole Times, in Albany.  If they could each feed 50 meals in a week, we will have fed 2000 people by the end of the month." 

The key to making this challenge successful is to control the waste of food inside the restaurants by current patrons.  "If we can control the waste, we can feed double that amount.  So the challenge is also to those people who dine with us.  When you build your plate, you may look over and see a family that you will also be feeding," says Fletcher.

Smaller restaurants or caterers can provide meals to the Meals On Wheels program or local food banks.  Discounted meals will also be offered.  At Ole Times and Cafe 230, patrons can Buy a Lunch for a Senior.  Add $5 to your bill and a lunch will be provided to a senior citizen.  At the Fresh Farm Market, buy a $5 gift certificate and redeem it for $10 worth of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Starting in August, Fletcher will offer vouchers for school lunches.  Buy a $5 gift certificate and it will be worth $10, and come fill your lunch bag.

The challenge is not just for buffets, other restaurants have expressed interest joining this worthwhile cause.

Seniors and needy families interested in participating on this program may sign up at: www.albanyfoodchallenge.com or call the Feed A Neighbor hotline: (229) 364-9845.

PayPal Donations accepted at: www.albanyfoodchallenge.com