Bon Appétit Management Company General Manager Allyson Shelden got an unexpected disappointment when she applied to be Food Recovery Verified for regularly donating excess edible food from the salad bar at FireEye, a cybersecurity company in Milpitas, CA. The Food Recovery Network reluctantly told her that FRV certificates are only for donating food to people.
See, every week Ally had been driving 15 to 20 pounds of salad bar leftovers — greens, carrots, broccoli, carrots, bell peppers, yellow squash, zucchini, and fruit salad — to the birds, mammals, and reptiles rescued by the Wildlife Center of Silicon Valley. (A volunteer now picks it up.)
“As a small account, our leftovers don’t usually work for Chefs to End Hunger from a quantity perspective,” says Ally. “The main reason that I looked to animals is that my father passed away earlier this year and left a legacy donation to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek.” She toured their facility and learned how important food donations are to sustain the number of patients they see as a nonprofit. She decided to find a center near FireEye: “I’m so grateful to continue my dad’s love and support of animals while also aligning with Bon Appétit’s core values on sustainability and bringing a positive impact to our communities.”
The WCSV sees about 5,500 patients per year, and the animals go through around 25 pounds of produce a week during the slow season; in the busy season, April to September, that number hits 150 pounds. (Fun fact: Possums and squirrels consume about 80 percent of the produce, and the center paints their ears with nail polish so they can tell them apart.)