Have you ever wondered what happens to the excess food at Walt Disney World resort? In 1991, Walt Disney World created the Disney Harvest program. This program collects prepared unserved food to be donated to homeless shelters, day care centers for seniors and children, after school centers, and soup kitchens. This is done through a partnership with Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. It is estimated that over half the people served through the food bank’s Second Helpings program are children with this meal possibly being their only meal of the day. Several million pounds of food have been donated since the program began.
A refrigerated truck picks up the food during the night and delivers it during the day to non-profit agencies. There are guidelines that determine what foods are eligible for donation. Some examples are donations must be first-generation surplus food (food that has not been previously reheated for second-time service), prepared food must be stored and maintained at appropriate temperature, and food must be protected from air and environment contamination. Food that has been place on a buffet or any self-serve area is not accepted.
Below is a video about the Disney Harvest Program: