steam whistle wedding

Where Does All The Leftover Catering Food Go?

Did you know that 3.3 million tonnes of food waste from hotels, restaurants, bars and events goes into landfill sites every year?

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We are on a mission to reduce our footprint at Steam Whistle. We have spent the last few years reaching the point of 99.8 % waste diversion from landfills by collecting for re-use or recycling every output commodity from our process (including cardboard, glass, bottle caps, aluminum, shrink wrap, scrap metal, etc.) and provide Wellington County farmers with the spent grain from our brewing process for cattle feed. We wanted to take our waste diversion one step closer and ensure that any offsite food brought into the brewery was repurposed as well which is how we got involved with the Good Sheppard Program.

We set down with our Venue Manager Jennifer Draper to find out more about this program.


Can you give a little background information about yourself?

I’ve been catering in Toronto since 2003. Starting out as a catering coordinator and worked my way up to catering sales director at the some of the top catering companies in Toronto (Including many of our top preferred caterers at the brewery).  My first catering gig at Steam Whistle was in 2007 at their staff holiday party – and man these guys know how to party.

I became the #1 caterer at Steam Whistle with 2 different companies which is how I became acquainted with the Good Beer Folks.

I started working at the brewery in June and have since had the pleasure of executing memorable events such as Smashfest and Paddle Royale (just a few of the 300 events executed at the brewery every year).


How did the food donation program with Good Shepard come about?

There was one particularly busy week with tons of high quality, nutritious leftover food so we started calling around to see if any shelters would be able to take a food donation. The Good Sheppard, was the only shelter that would pick it up and had fewer restrictions on what they were able to take (ie. allergies, gluten sensitivities etc.)

All of the caterers that drop off food at the brewery know about the food donation program and there’s a note posted on our fridges requesting that they leave any extra food for our Good Sheppard Donations.

There is a lot of waste in the nature of catering and were doing our best to minimize that by getting it to the people that need it the most.


Can you tell us a little bit about the Good Sheppard Program?

The Good Shepherd is well known on the streets of Toronto as a place to get a hot meal, clean clothes, a safe clean bed for the night. It’s a place to go when you need someone to listen or someone to help.

To date they serve over 1,300 meals a day, making them the largest meal program in Toronto.


How can people get involved?

You don’t need to be in the event planning business to pitch in. Volunteers that can cook can offer to make one casserole (then servings) a month for their Provide-a-Meal Program. Individual group members can cook casseroles using a single recipe selected from a choice of recipes provided by Good Shepherd Centre. The members bring the cooked casserole(s) to a freezer at the group’s designated drop-off location.

Check out The Good Sheppard Website to learn more about how you or your organization can get involved!