Olympic Veggies cc Biswarup-Ganguly cc Stux

Kitchens at the Rio Olympics will serve up 60,000 meals for athletes during the games, and celebrity chefs have cooked up a winning plan to deal with leftovers — using them to feed Rio’s poor.

Chefs David Hertz and Massimo Bottura are leading an effort to collect an estimated 12 tons of food leftovers from the Olympic Village and distribute it to the city’s favelas, or slums. The food will provide about 100 fully prepared meals each day during the games.

Massimo Bottura and David Hertz released Gastromotiva 300
Photo courtesy of Gastromotiva 300

An empty storefront has already been turned into a feeding station where volunteers will cook the unused food from the Olympic Village, giving people who might otherwise go hungry a hot meal. After the games, it’ll be converted into a community center featuring cooking classes and other food-related projects.

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Nearly 35% of produce is regularly wasted in Brazil, so the São Paulo city council is considering a bill that would require business to donate unused or unsold food to charity—and the UN is working to set up a network of NGOs and universities to minimize food waste in the region.

The soup kitchen is a joint effort by Rio’s city government, the IOC’s sustainable food initiative, Hertz’s Gastromotiva organization, and Bottura’s Food for Soul non-profit. The chefs want to use the games to begin a local effort to combat hunger in the community.

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“We need to empower people on the ground,” Hertz said in a statement. “They can make the change happen.”

(READ more at City Lab) — Photos: Stux, CC; Biswarup Ganguly, CC; Gastromotiva

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