I was seriously considering opening up this post with a brain bashing of facts and statistics to set the stage for the primary content of the discussion i would like to hold with you today, but I decided the only real way to open this topic up would be with one simple fact: According to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), from October 2009 to September 2010, there were approximately 1.6 million homeless people fighting for their survival.
Now i don't want you to think for a second that this is some sob story about how you should have pity for those people because it could be you and they deserve your money when they sit on the side of the road. Absolutely not. Those people who sit on the side of the road, in most cases, just want your money so they can get a quick fix of their preferred poison. Whether it be tobacco, alcohol, or some of the "harder" drugs. Chances are, most of those people will not re-purpose your money for what they tell you they'll do with it. And i know of many instances where those people aren't even homeless! In my hometown there was a man who woke up in the morning and got himself dirty and ratty then drove out to the corner of a street, parked his car out of sight and begged all day. At the end of the day he'd just jump in his Corvette and drive off.
I'm trying to make the point that we can solve the hunger issues, possibly throughout the world! simply by having fast food restaurants give a little back to the community. That's all.
Did you know that on average, The entire McDonalds Franchise makes roughly 6.5 million hamburgers a day? Now this was in 2005 i'd imagine that the company has grown quite a bit since then, so all the number's i'm working with will be low. Given that they have an estimated 31,000 locations worldwide, that would put the total number of burgers per day per location at roughly 210 (209.667 but since no one ever orders 2/3rds of a burger it's safe to assume that's just another whole burger). another interesting statistic states that McDonald's ends up throwing out about 1/3rd of their stock due to time issues and so on. When factoring this in, we can get a pretty accurate reading that every McDonald's location in the world throws out about 70 burgers a day for one reason or another.
Here's where the real kicker comes in. My hometown has as of right now, 34 McDonalds Locations. According to HUD, in 2010 there were approximately 13,711 homeless in my hometown. if every McDonalds in my hometown were to give away the food they were throwing away to the homeless instead of throwing it away. Just my city alone would be able to feed 17.4% of my entire state's homeless population. If the Capitol of my state and my city were to combine forces and use their throw-outs for good, we'd be looking at feeding 46.5% of all of the homeless in my state. I am not talking about giving food away that other people could be paying for. I am merely suggesting that they save whatever they don't or cannot sell that day and pass it out to the homeless while the crews are doing end of the night clean-up. That's it!
I mean if just McDonalds were to do this. That's not even counting Burger King, Carl's Jr (or Hardee's depending on what side of the country you hail from), Wendy's, A&W, or any of the other hundreds of privately owned, local fast food joints spanning the country. If i were to factor those in? I'm willing to bet that it could very well surpass the number of starving homeless people we have in this country.
All this would imply (as i did not make it very clear earlier), is that companies stash the overflow or underflow food somewhere until the end of the day. The night crews would set the box out behind the store while their doing the evening cleanup routine. Have it publicly known that homeless people or people having trouble feeding mouths could come and get one or two items to give them enough calories to make it through the next day.
I know one of the common objections to an idea like this is that it would be abused and people who didn't need it would be taking from those that did. To be quite frank on the matter, if you have enough to even so much as buy top ramen, you're probably not going to leap at the chance to eat old McDonald's hamburgers.
I want to hear your feedback. if you have something to improve on the idea? then contribute it. There's no such thing as a stupid idea.