Valley restaurant teams up with non-profit to feed the hungry

Lasagna, soup, spaghetti and desserts -- pounds of it is untouched at this Olive Garden on 75th Avenue and Thomas.

"By donating the food the way we do, we know it helps millions of people out there," Allen Wear said.

General manager Allen Wear says it's something his location has been doing in the Valley since 2003. They donate a total of 50,000 pounds of forgotten to-go orders and excess food to an organization called Waste Not, which then delivers ready-to-eat restaurant meals to about 100 agencies that feed the hungry in our community.

"The need is out there... it's hard to believe, but it seems like it's growing," David Keiser said.

Keiser with Waste Not says there's even a wait list that's getting longer and longer. The non-profit delivers an average of about 12,000 pounds of food per day and last month their five vans brought 281,000 pounds to people in transitional homes, day cares, boys and girls clubs and organizations for hungry veterans.

Dave says one pound feeds about one person in the Valley.

"They're just thrilled because you know, they're probably never going to have a chance to come to Olive Garden and have that experience, so they get it through the donations, so we can't thank Olive Garden enough," he said.

It's just the right thing to do, Wear says. It's something that Olive Garden participates in across the country and makes it a priority to make use of their extra food to feed the hungry.

"It makes me feel proud... it's exciting to know that you're working for a company that understand and cares," Wear said.