If you’ve ever brought Tupperware to the Johnson & Hardwick cafeteria to take some extra morsels home, we forgive you for not eating all of it.
Your gluttony pales in comparison to the amount of food wasted this papal weekend.
In a city so focused on security and the Pope’s speeches during his visit, restaurateurs bring up a valid point: they were told to stock up and prepare for big crowds that never came.
“The city scared all of our customers away,” restaurateur and alumnus Stephen Starr told the Inquirer. “This is unnecessary overkill. What should have been a feeling of family and community was turned into a police and military operation.”
Amid several stories of wasted food this weekend: Tommy DiNic’s, a staple at Reading Terminal Market specializing in roast pork and roast beef sandwiches, on Saturday tweeted a photo of about 25 large paper bags full of leftover rolls. They could only give away about half before closing.
Danya Henninger, a reporter with Billy Penn, tweeted she brokered a deal between Aramark and Project HOME to make sure leftovers were donated to the homeless and not thrown out.
But where was the city’s involvement in these deals? Mayor Michael Nutter described the World Meeting of Families and the papal visit as a success in a press conference yesterday, and he’s not wrong.
Still, for students reading this, the not-so-good parts of this weekend can be a teachable moment too. Some of you will lead Philadelphia someday, and maybe even greet the next Pope a few decades from now. For others, sustainability might fall into your field of study.
Amid all the positive things you’ll hear this week about the events, let this stick with you: it’s not ethical to waste food, and we should stop doing so. Get involved with sustainability campaigns. Write to a city councilman or to Nutter. Donate your excess to Philabundance or get a restaurant to consider doing the same.
If this waste bothers you like it bothers us, get up and do something about it.