Rethink Food repurposes food waste from NYC's top restaurants to feed the homeless

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Matthew Jozwiak, an alum of the Make it Nice restaurant Group and 11 Madison, bet his life savings on an idea to solve two problems - restaurant food waste and hunger.

Jozwiak said "I came up with the concept of Rethink Food out of this problem."

Every night he would be alarmed at the amount of food being discarded. He would see healthy nutritious vegetables, excess sauces, and puree's being thrown away and wanted to do something about it.

The concept of Rethink was born.

Rethink Food NYC is a nonprofit organization that recovers excess food waste from some of New York City's leading restaurants.

Rethink collects food from Make It Nice, The Grill, Gramercy Tavern, 11 Madison, Brooklyn Grange, Gotham Greens and Square Roots as well as events like the James Beard Foundation Dinner.

Once collected, Rethink curates a nutritious meal that is cooked by trained chefs. Meals are then packaged and delivered to partnering charitable organizations.

Leading hunger relief organizations like City Harvest and Food bank for New York City were not set up with kitchens cook and prepare nutritious meals.

Rethink wanted to change that by working with these agencies to deliver healthy nutritious meals to those in need. "These agencies do enough every day to provide shelter, and services to people who need it most. The last thing they should be worrying about is cooking and preparing food. Let us do that for them so they can get back to what's really important."

Bonbite an upscale catering business is also a key partner because its team shares a kitchen space with Rethink. Winston Chiu, executive Chef at Bon Bite, helps with Rethink's food curation as well. Chiu said, "The response has been great, people can't believe that the food they are being served actually came from a food pantry."

Jozwiak is proud of what Rethink has accomplished so far and hopes that his efforts help changes the food industry's idea of waste.

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