|dc.description.abstract||Background: Approximately one-third of all food produced in America is wasted each year due to lack of infrastructure and support in waste-saving efforts. With over 49 million Americans food insecure, more attention needs to be drawn towards implications of food waste (Vogliano).
Methods: An electronic food waste survey was developed and emailed to local Fort Worth restaurants after recruiting through phone calls and in person interactions. An electronic food donation survey was sent via email to local homeless shelters after recruiting through phone calls. Twelve restaurant respondents and fourteen homeless shelter responses were entered into Statistical Package for the Social Sciences version 22 (SPSS), where frequencies and correlations were determined.
Results: Eighty-three percent of restaurant survey respondents were not concerned about food waste in their establishment, but 100% agreed that reducing food waste was important. There was a positive correlation (p < .05) between restaurants having knowledge of the Good Samaritan Act and believing they have successful food waste prevention measures. There was a positive correlation (p < .01) between concerns of expiration and adequate storage space for prepared food in respondents to the shelter food donation survey. Only 17% of restaurant survey respondents said they would not be interested in connecting with local shelters to donate food. Eighty-one percent of shelter respondents agreed that their shelters would benefit from excess food donations from restaurants.
Discussion: All restaurants believed food waste is important, but 83% were not concerned about it in their restaurant. Restaurants with successful food waste measures in place might have been more likely to respond to the survey. Most respondents to both the shelter and restaurant surveys agreed that partnerships between restaurants and shelters for safe excess food donation would be beneficial.
Conclusion: Food waste is prevalent in the restaurant industry and reallocating excess food, as donations to shelters, would be beneficial for society.
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