SBD/January 18, 2011/Facilities

TD Garden Leftover Concessions Being Used To Feed Homeless

TD Garden since October has been donating its unsold food to the Boston Rescue Mission as “part of a nationwide initiative to help feed the hungry with leftovers from major arena events, rather than simply discarding the food,” according to a front-page piece by David Filipov of the BOSTON GLOBE. TD Garden Concessions Manager Peter Zettel said that “all leftovers used to be thrown into a cardboard box on the floor, along with broken buns or pretzels and food that had been burned or otherwise deemed inappropriate for sale.” Some “25 tons of Garden food each year used to go to compost.” SportService GM Mike Zielinski, whose company oversees all food and beverage operations at the Garden, said that now “more than 16 tons could be saved and served at the mission.” Filipov “went behind the scenes to follow” the concession food from a Jan. 6 Bruins game to the "plates of the homeless the next day." Zielinski estimated that “about 150 pounds" of food "went into a steel container on a two-shelf metal cart." The next morning, Boston Rescue Mission Kitchen Supervisor Joe Benjamin “rolled out the cart” as BRM Head of Housekeeping Anthony Dabney “loaded it into a minivan.” Dabney said that he “will take any food that is properly wrapped and refrigerated and will not spoil during the approximately 10-minute ride from the Garden to the mission on Kingston Street -- a half-hour in traffic.” Dabney estimated that the “haul from the Garden would make up about 50 percent of what would be served to the roughly 250 people expected to eat lunch or dinner at the shelter that day.” He added that “food from the TD Garden is as well-preserved as any donations the mission receives” (BOSTON GLOBE, 1/18).
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