Fate of tech left­overs as var­ied as firms that feed their staffs

Google, Tesla, Uber do­nate; Face­book cites safety wor­ries

The Mercury News - - Business + Technology - By Levi Su­ma­gaysay lsuma­[email protected] ba­yare­anews­group.com

Many large tech com­pa­nies, ex­cept Face­book, do­nate ex­cess food to dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions around the Bay Area.

Most ev­ery­one knows about the abun­dance of free food at tech com­pa­nies — a perk pop­u­lar­ized by Google and oth­ers to at­tract tal­ented work­ers with din­ing choices that make it un­nec­es­sary to leave cam­pus.

From the South Bay to the Penin­sula to San Fran­cisco, these com­pa­nies em­ploy hun­dreds of thou­sands of em­ploy­ees in the Bay Area. That’s a lot of food and not all of it is con­sumed ev­ery day. What hap­pens to what’s left over at the end of each day?

Many of the com­pa­nies do­nate their ex­cess food, of­ten through the out­side cater­ers they use. Google, for ex­am­ple, do­nated nearly 60,000 pounds of food from Jan­uary through Oc­to­ber, spread out through dif­fer­ent or­ga­ni­za­tions.

But Face­book, among the big­gest and most high-pro­file of Sil­i­con Val­ley tech gi­ants that gives its em­ploy­ees free food, does not do­nate its ex­cess un­eaten food.

Face­book cites health and li­a­bil­ity con­cerns as rea­sons it does not do­nate ex­cess food from the 21 cafes and five food trucks on its mas­sive cam­pus in Menlo Park, from where em­ploy­ees and their guests fre­quently post on so­cial me­dia pho­tos of the meals they eat for free.

Ju­lia Beal is a for­mer chef at one of Face­book’s many eater­ies.

“I al­ways felt they could use a kick in the butt re­gard­ing food waste but also un­der­stand there are health code re­stric­tions/guide­lines that are re­quired to be fol­lowed, which I’m cer­tain could be pos­si­ble,” Beal said. The raw-food chef said she was “for­tu­nate” to work in the Liv­ing the Dream Cafe at Face­book in 2016 be­fore mov­ing to In­di­ana.

“We are un­able to do­nate our left­overs be­cause of con­cerns around con­tam­i­na­tion and al­ler­gies,” said An­thony Har­ri­son, Face­book spokesman, on Fri­day. He said the com­pany, which feeds 25,000 work­ers The rank­ing com­pared 182 cities on 32 dif­fer­ent met­rics, in­clud­ing job se­cu­rity, non-mort­gage debt and the share of house­holds with emer­gency sav­ings.

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