San Diego Rescue Mission Staff Tour Convention Center

The equivalent of over 103,000 meals were donated to the San Diego Rescue Mission in the last twelve months. This added community benefit is a direct result of the events held at the San Diego Convention Center.

On October 17, 2017, the San Diego Convention Center welcomed the staff of the San Diego Rescue Mission for a tour of the facility and to observe the donation process of the food leftovers.

"The system that is in place is a result of our organizations working together for over 15 years," said Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Gil Cabrera. "It's one of our biggest areas of pride here at the convention center."

Centerplate, the convention center’s in-house caterer, donates all leftover edible food from meetings and events held at the center to the San Diego Rescue Mission. In the last year, our kitchen donated 64.5 tons of food to the Rescue Mission for San Diegans in need. That food is also distributed to the Rescue Mission’s Partners for Hope, made up of 40 smaller non-profits.

"It was an honor to meet the team and share ideas on how we can continue to collaborate and help those in such great need." said President & CEO Clifford "Rip" Rippetoe, CFE.

The San Diego Rescue Mission is a non-profit homeless shelter and recovery center. Since 1955, the mission has served people who are homeless, addicted, abused, and impoverished through shelters, food programs, transitional housing, thrift stores, and other programs.

San Diego Rescue Mission Director of Food Services Alan Kennedy works closely with the Centerplate team to orchestrate the donation process. 

"Our relationship with the convention center helps sustain our organization," said Kennedy. "At least a quarter of the food we serve in a year comes directly from conventions held here to the families that depend on our services."

The two organizations discussed the challenges and opportunities of food recovery, and the sustainability component of waste minimization. The convention center achieved LEED Gold status earlier this year.

"Along with our commitment to helping the community by donating untouched food, we have a commitment to being a sustainable venue," said Centerplate General Manager Bobby Ramirez. "That's why if the food cannot be donated to the mission, it is composted and all cooking oil is collected and converted into bio-diesel."

Centerplate Executive Chef Daryl O'Donnell showed the Rescue Mission staff what takes place after a show when leftovers transferred from the convention center to the mission.  They also observed how non-edible food is composted and materials are recycled as part of everyday operations. The Rescue Mission also plays a part in our city's sustainability and has a robust recycling program.

Chef O'Donnell and his staff also give time and food to organizations such as Monarch School and Mama's Kitchen. The team is renowned for their willingness to serve the local community and go above and beyond in their environmental stewardship.

Learn more about our staff's community efforts that were recently recognized in our blog.

Posted by Rita de la Fuente, on October 18, 2017
Between Meetings, Events, News and Developments

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