No matter whether you provide the food or have people pay for it, it seems that at every SQL Saturday I’ve attended, there is extra food left over. Sometimes it’s a very significant quantity. At one of the events I think there were over 50 boxes lunches left over.
You need a disposal plan.
Now it’s easy to toss the food, or give some to volunteers if they want it, however I’d encourage you to think a little wider, or maybe even more socially. Think about how you put that food to good use.
At the Rocky Mountain Tech Trifecta that we’ve run for a few years we typically have no issues with leftover pizza. Plenty of students are wandering the halls on a Saturday and are more than happy to help us dispose of a few slices. I like to think we’re doing a good thing by allowing students a free meal after the attendees have eaten.
In many events, however, there isn’t a large group of people walking around the area that would appreciate the food. After both the Denver and Kansas City SQL Saturdays, the leftover food was donated to local missions that used it to feed those people who are down on their luck. I know a few other events have done this as well, and I’d encourage everyone to consider a local mission in your area. If you are having trouble finding one, contact a few churches nearby your event and I’m sure they can help.
I’d like to think that those of us in IT are fairly well off compared to many people in the world. And I think that we can do a bit more to give back to others that might not be as fortunate. Have a disposal plan for extra food and don’t let it go to waste.