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Author: Alexis Henning  •  Date: August 1, 2016  •  Appears in: News

Tech Companies Like Google, Uber, Twitter and AirBnB Donate Tons of Free Food Waste

Major tech companies produce thousands of free food for their employees every day. Luckily, they've also begun to donate their food waste to the hungry.

Certain tech companies are famous for feeding their employees very well. At Google headquarters in Mountain View, California for example, they have close to 30 different cafés to choose from.

Former head chef Nate Keller, who left the company in 2008, said that Google was serving over 40,000 gourmet meals a day, spending at least $80 million a year on food alone.

This isn’t just free pizza and bologna sandwiches either. The restaurants served anything from vegan truffles, omelets, fried chicken benedicts, BBQ beef brisket and even full-sized fresh lobsters.

Other major companies such as Twitter, Dropbox, Uber, AirBnb and LinkendIn all generate thousands of uneaten meals a day as well.

Fortunately, these companies aren’t tossing their food waste. They all use a non-profit named Food Runners. This organization collects all extra food and redistributes them for donation through a network of volunteers.

Food Runners distributes food to about 300 different organizations. According to their website, they deliver 5,000 meals in San Francisco each day. They deliver over 15 tons of food that would be otherwise thrown away.

The organization was founded in 1987 by Mary Risley, who owned a professional cooking school at the time. In 1999, she was awarded the “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation for Food Runners.  Food Runners has over –

“250 active volunteers, and more than 450 restaurants, caterers, grocery stores, farmers’ markets and other businesses regularly donate perishable and prepared foods.”


According to the National Resources Defense Council, U.S citizens are losing up to 40% of all food into landfills. According to the NRDC Report [PDF]:

“Getting food from the farm to our fork eats up 10 percent of the total U.S. energy budget, uses 50 percent of, and swallows 80 percent of all freshwater consumed in the United States. Yet, 40 percent of food in the United States today goes uneaten.”


While not every American can open up a non-profit like Food Runners, the NRDC urgers the average American to become aware of the food waste that they throw away. While companies can make the largest impact by donating their unused food to homeless shelters or to organizations such as Food Runner, the average person can do their part as well by freezing all leftovers, cooking smaller portions or eating all leftovers, and buying products that are “imperfect” in that they are aesthetically unfamiliar or “ugly” but realistically perfectly fine to eat.

Kudos to these tech companies for taking a stand and helping to reduce waste!


Alexis Henning


UCF Alumni, BA in Political Science/International Relations with a focus in Middle Eastern studies. Traveler, blogger, humanitarian.
Read more by Alexis Henning

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