Kennewick Olive Garden is making a difference with un-served meals
KENNEWICK, Wash. — The folks at Olive Garden have a unique way to make sure food that never makes it to the dining room gets used.
It's called the Olive Garden Harvest Program and it's making a difference in our community.
The national chain said they've saved 38-million pounds of prepared food since starting the program in 2003.
Cooks pack and freeze prepared food that doesn't get ordered, and store it in a special place in the freezer.
Once a week, their non-profit partners pick it up.
The Kennewick location said they've donated 73-thousand pounds of surplus food to non-profits like Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission.
Ministries Director Chariss Warner said everyone loves Olive Garden Friday, but the children probably love it the most,
"You can see their chubby little cheeks, and they're just shoving their mouths full of bread, because these kids don't get to actually come to Olive Garden. And so to give them a bit of normal is a huge deal."
Warner said the donated comfort food provides safety and security, which are important first steps in helping people get back on their feet.
The Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission said there are over 800 homeless children in Benton and Franklin counties.
They're always looking for volunteers, if interested visit their volunteer page.