'Feeding the 5000' food festival served thousands lunch at Pershing Square

Friday, May 5, 2017
'Feeding the 5000' fest served thousands lunch at Pershing Square
Nonprofit organizations like Feedback.org, the LA Kitchen, and Hunger Action L.A. team up to provide free lunch for 5,000 people at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- People who call themselves "waster warriors" created solutions to reduce food waste, hunger, and trash by using high quality, but maybe not-so-pretty ingredients to fuel up at a communal feast known as Feeding 5000 L.A.

"It's been rejected by business who are afraid that customers won't buy it. Ugly fruits and vegetables selling them and celebrating them is one of the ways," said Dominika Jarosz, global campaign manager for Feeding 5000.

Jarosz said one-third of the world's food is wasted, yet we have many people who are "food insecure."

She wants businesses to reduce food waste and seek help from nonprofits to offer smart solutions.

"California has Assembly Bill 1826, which mandates organic recycling for all business and institutions. Under our new food waste franchise program, food rescue and food donation will be a mandatory component," said Jennifer Pinkerton, of L.A. City Sanitation.

The Los Angeles Food Policy Council teamed up with environmental impact organizations like The L.A. Kitchen.

"All the workers and the volunteers prepared a vegan posole and kale tortilla chips," said L.A. Kitchen board chairman Rudy Espinoza.

The L.A. Kitchen program teaches former inmates as well as people who've aged out of foster care to grow and prepare produce for events like these.

Frank Tamborello of Hunger Action L.A. said they offer a $10 discount at farmers markets if people on Cal-Fresh, SSI or WIC buy at the farmers markets.