JLB Second Servings program turns leftovers into meals for those in need

JLB Second Servings program turns leftovers into meals for those in need

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - So much food is wasted during the holidays but now the Junior League of Birmingham is picking up leftover catered food (from homes, from businesses and from venues) and delivering it to local nonprofits.

Since getting started in June of 2017, JLB Second Servings has experienced an extremely positive response from the Birmingham community. They have a team of 10 volunteers who are ready to pick up and deliver donated food at any time.

The goal for donations in Second Servings’ first year (June 2017 - May 2018) was 2,000 pounds of food, which they not only met, but exceeded.

Their current total for this year so far (June 2018 - November 2018) has already passed that figure with a current total of 2,229 pounds of food donated.

How did Second Servings start?

JLB Second Servings is an initiative created by Junior League of Birmingham (JLB) designed to rescue perishable prepared food and deliver it to those in need.

Here’s how it works: After a corporate event, party, or wedding that has been catered, there is often leftover food. If someone from the event notices there are enough leftovers to feed 10 to 15 people, that person would email the JLB Second Servings Committee and the JLB sends a volunteer to pick up the food. The donated food then goes to one of the two JLB Second Servings refrigerators and feeds those who are food insecure, rather than going into the trash.

Where are the Second Servings Refrigerators?

There are currently two JLB Second Servings refrigerators (the JLB would like to expand, as its food pipeline expands) — one at Project HOPE, and one at Youth Towers. These centers both work with food-insecure youth and young adults in different ways:

Project HOPE works with homeless youth aged 16 - 21. It is a street outreach and drop-in day shelter for homeless youth in Birmingham. With the refrigerator on-site, homeless youth can stop by and enjoy a hot meal while they receive such services as access to clothing, personal care items, shower and laundry facilities, a place to rest and a Social Worker to assist the youth in developing a plan for their future.

Youth Towers is a Birmingham agency that works with young people who have aged out of the foster care system. They work to take preventative action in order to keep those who have aged out from becoming homeless. They assist them by offering services like basic living skills training, public bus passes, a hot meal, job interviews, clothing, mentors and more.

Both of these local agencies list “a hot meal” as one of the services they can offer the youth they serve. These meals are made possible by JLB Second Servings and the food that is donated to them.

What are the required parameters for food donations?

  • Must have been prepared in a commercial kitchen
  • Must be more than 10 servings
  • Must be within a 10-15-mile radius of Birmingham
  • Must be prepared with 24 hours of recovery
  • Must be packaged in disposable containers and ready for pick-up

How can people donate?

Since getting started in June of 2017, JLB Second Servings has experienced an extremely positive response from the Birmingham community. They have a team of 10 volunteers who are ready to pick up and deliver donated food at any time. They have developed great partnerships, including one with Hattie B’s which provides them with food weekly. The team has also received donations consistent donations from Zoe’s Kitchen, Regions and Protective Life.

The Junior League of Birmingham and the JLB Second Servings Committee is always looking to collaborate. They are flexible and able to work with any type of event, person, restaurant or business that is looking to cut down on food waste.

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