Thousands of Tri-State Area restaurants helping stop food waste through "Too Good to Go"

Thousands of Tri-State Area restaurants helping stop food waste through “Too Good to Go”

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LOCUST VALLEY, N.Y. — Tons of good, edible food gets thrown out every day, which is not only wasteful, it’s also harmful to the environment.

As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reports, thousands of area businesses are now part of a unique solution.

Seventy dozen bagels are made daily at Family Bagels of Plainview, and while they attracts crowds, some days, dozens of bagels end up in the trash.

But not any more. The deli’s teamed up with “Too Good to Go,” a free app that sells food at the end of the day at deeply cut prices.

“It’s helping us with waste, you know. No one really wants to throw away food,” said Neal Schatt, owner of Family Bagels of Plainview.

Users find local eateries, which compile surprise bags of extra food for one-third the retail price.

“For $4, sometimes they’re getting an $18, $20 value. Sometimes it’s just $12, depending on what’s left at the end of the day that can’t be saved,” said Michael Schatt, owner of Family Bagels of Plainview.

The idea stems from the surplus food dilemma. Forty percent of U.S. food is thrown away uneaten, most of it ending up in greenhouse gas-producing landfills or incinerators.

“It’s a solution that is actionable and easy for both consumers and restaurants to actually fight food waste together by connecting,” said Gaeleen Quinn, head of impact for “Too Good to Go.”

Island Harvest first took on Long Island food waste three decades ago. The nonprofit applauds this new effort and a New York state law that now requires big food-generating businesses to donate excess food.

“We know there are many more people that are struggling to make ends meet and put food on the table,” Island Harvest President Randi Shubin Dresner said. “So the more food we can find from the community that’s edible, good, healthy, nutritious food, that’s important.”

“Too Good to Go” is also luring families facing the inflation squeeze.

Locust Valley’s Karmic Grind fills the bags with muffins, fresh juices, yogurts.

“A dollar here, a dollar there you can get the same thing. It’s not bad, it’s not bad food, you know, it’s just we just can’t sell it,” said Alicia Zarou Scanlon, owner of Karmic Grind.

More than 3,000 cafes and restaurants in the Tri-State Area have signed up so far, contributing to the 100 million bags of food saved from the trash so far.

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