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Sustainable Weddings: Where to Donate Your Wedding Food

One way your wedding can be eco-friendly and sustainable is to donate any unused food to a local, worthy cause. Read on to find out more about this important trend!

Hey, Christie!

I know we will order more food than we think our wedding guests can consume. We don’t want to run out! 🙂

We are focused on having a sustainable wedding. We want our spending to reflect our values and we hope we can make a difference in the world.

After the wedding, is there a way we can donate any remaining wedding food to a worthy cause? Michael and I would like to help our community by sharing our love and reducing our carbon footprint by reducing waste. Any suggestions?

–Paula in St. Paul, Oregon

Hey, Paula!

Thank you for such a great question!

Many weddings generate more leftover food and recyclable materials than you and your beloved want to take home.

formal table setting

How can you donate food?

  1. Talk with your caterer. The caterer may be willing to transport leftover food and recyclables to a cause you support after the wedding. Discuss with your caterer what the regulations are on how donated food needs to be packaged.
  2. Talk with the non-profit. They are often very willing to come to your reception venue and pick up any donations of food and/or recyclables which they can convert to cash. Ask if there are any regulations about how the food needs to be packaged for them. Ask if your donations are tax deductible for you!
  3. Talk with the sanitation company or recycling company. They may be willing to bring recycling bins for plastic bottles, glass, metal, and paper to your location.
desserts for weddings

Types of organizations which often accept wedding food donations:

  • Soup kitchens
  • Food banks
  • Refugee centers
  • Senior centers
  • Teen drop-in centers
  • Youth shelters
  • Women’s shelters
  • Alcoholic treatment centers
  • AIDS hospices
  • Animal rescue organizations.

One of our staff volunteered at the USDA licensed refuge, Turpentine Creek, for several years.

She loved it when newly married couples donated their leftover wedding food to the abandoned or abused lions and tigers.

Many a tiger has chowed down on leftover prime rib and enjoyed every minute of it!  Meanwhile, the lions ate all the ham!

National Directories Can Help You Find Where to Donate Food:

If you have further questions, let me know.

Your friend in the wedding business,

Christie Shyne


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white magnolia flower for weddings