After large gatherings and also for times when people are bringing over many meals, such as after a funeral or shiva, people typically find themselves with a lot of leftovers. Trays of sandwiches, half-eaten casseroles, and cakes and cookies begin to pile up. Some of the food can be frozen for future use but other perishable items cannot. Donating leftover perishable food is a great way to extend the life of the leftover food and do a good thing in the process.
This is a great area for a friend or family member to help out with. It just takes a bit of research to find a local shelter or mission who will accept leftover foods. It takes one call that will make a huge difference in the community.
Here are a few tips for donating perishable food:
- It is important to ensure that the food has been handled in a safe and hygienic manner.
- As soon as you see people have stopped taking the food that has been laid out, pack it up and put it in the fridge.
- Arrange the food in disposable trays so that it looks full, and consolidate similar items together. For example, egg salad and tuna salad from multiple trays can be placed together on one fuller tray.
- Label the food with the date you received it so that the people receiving it know how many more days they have left to consume it safely.
- If you received disposable serving utensils, it is a nice gesture to wash them and send them along with the food you are donating.