Group collects leftover food to bring to the hungry


Santa isn't arriving in a sleigh and he's not bringing gifts. His SUV is being packed with food he'll deliver to the homeless.

Chef Daniel Long is with Guckenheimer event and catering in South San Francisco, one of several companies donating to an organization called Peninsula Food Runners. Restaurants, grocery stores, farmers markets and, increasingly tech companies that offer their employees daily meals, give Food Runners trays of untouched leftovers.

"We do work hard on making this food and inevitably we can't use some of it, things are left over," Long said. "It's good for us to know somebody is getting good use out of it."

Santa, aka Walter Milner, is taking this to the Safe Harbor Shelter in South San Francisco. About 80 percent of the shelters in the county benefit from food industry donations.

The Peninsula Food Runners is an offshoot of the non-profit that began in San Francisco 25 years ago. Founder Mary Risley told us back in 2006 about her simple but powerful idea.

"We're not asking them to give money or give part of their profits or give anything, we're just asking don't throw it away, put it in a bag and call us," Risley said.

The Peninsula program has been underway for just a few months and could use more volunteers to deliver the goods, and of course more food.

Peninsula Food Runners collects 5,000 pounds of food each week, that's 10,000 meals.

"People are seeing that we need to do something, no one should go hungry in this country, we have so much good food," Maria Yap said.

"it makes all the difference in the world between having an empty stomach and a full stomach and especially during the holidays," shelter resident Richard Raymond said.

That's the spirit for Peninsula Food Runners all year round.

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