Half for you, half for those in need

If you live or have travelled in the US, here’s something you may have noticed: restaurant portions are big.

Really, really big.

Bigger-than-your-head big.

Most, in fact, are 2 to 4 times bigger than recommended portion sizes — and, any way you slice it, that’s a heck of a lot of food.

The good news is that most restaurants make it easy to take home what you don’t eat so you can finish it off later. If that’s what you do, then more power to you. But that’s not always convenient. If you’re traveling or have plans after dinner, it may not even be possible. So you have two choices: overeat or waste food — two very unsatisfying choices in a country where both obesity and food insecurity are issues.

Halfsies is an initiative that aims to tackle this issue in a creative way. The idea is simple: restaurants participating in the program will give patrons the option to order half-size meals at the usual price, and donate a portion of the proceeds to support the fight against hunger. It’s a win-win-win scenario, which can help you avoid waste, avoid waist, and help out those in need — all without spending more than you were going to spend on your gargantuan portion.

Right now, Halfsies is trying to raise funding to launch the program in New York City and Austin. If you’d like to follow their journey or find out how to contribute, you can connect with them on Facebook.

You may also want to take a second to check out their video, and learn a bit more about the initiative and the issues it is addressing:

Halfsies: Connecting the Dots from Go Halfsies on Vimeo.

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5 thoughts on “Half for you, half for those in need

  1. Sounds like a great initiative but Halfsies will have to make sure the authorities in charge of restaurant hygiene give their approval to the project. Years ago, we were told by a restaurant manager in NYC that he was not allowed to give food to homeless people because of this. Still, I’m happy to spread the news through FB.

  2. Thanks, Claudine. Actually, it’s the money people pay for the food they don’t eat, not the food itself, that will be given to local and global charities. At the local level, the focus will be on:
    • Food Insecurity
    • Food Rescue & Waste Diversion
    • Homelessness & Drug Addiction
    • Personal Development

    At the global level, the focus will be on:
    • Orphans & Vulnerable Children
    • Education for the Underprivileged
    • Sustainable Agriculture Programs
    • Empowerment of Women

    There’s some more information in their booklet, if you’re curious, ref: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/6085750/Halfsies/Halfsies_InfoBooklet_Web.pdf

    • Agreed — too bad they’re not going to be in Chicago by the time you get there. Bonnie Lee once went to a restaurant in New Orleans with some Japanese colleagues. They all ordered appetizers, and were told that they had to order full meals, or leave. They were allowed to stay after B. explained that even the appetizers were larger than a full meal in Tokyo.

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