By Lisa Petrillo

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Food Rescue US Miami has teamed up again with the Miami Dolphins and Hard Rock Stadium Executive Chef Dayanny De La Cruz to turn unopened leftover fresh food into lunch for those in need.

“So this is our project today, we’re making some awesome pasta Alfredo with meatballs, roasted vegetables and garlic bread,” said De La Cruz.

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De La Cruz and others were busy in the kitchen Wednesday morning making sure nothing was going to waste inside the kitchen at Hard Rock Stadium.

Ellen Bowen is the South Florida location director for Food Rescue US Miami.

“This case, it’s a Miami Open tennis tournament, so there’s excess food, which normally would go in the garbage,” said Bowen. “So we’re here today to actually rescue that food while we’re actually turning it into individual meals, which we’re going to deliver to an assisted living facility right here in Miami Gardens. We like to keep things local.”

“Miami Open was a little bit smaller than usual because we know why, but there’s always something that we can give back to the community. So that’s what we’re doing today always give a little extra when you can,” said De La Cruz.

Three volunteers along with De La Cruz and Bowen prepared 200 meals Wednesday, while at the same time making sure the packaging is completely sustainable – another way is to combat waste.

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“Every amount of food that ends up in a landfill actually produces methane gas. Decomposing food is one of the largest contributors to climate change. So by rescuing food, we’re feeding the hungry and we’re helping the environment. It’s a win-win-win,” said Bowen.

The two have teamed up to stop waste and feed the hungry before on a much larger scale.

“During the Super Bowl, we rescued over 40,000 pounds of food. We had 37 volunteers for three days rescuing basically food that had never left the kitchen,” Bowen explained. “So at one point, we were rescuing trays of lobster tails, shrimp cocktails and filet mignon. We had over 10 different social service agencies that sent trucks that benefit from all the food that we were covered and sent to them.”

For all involved, rescuing food to feed those who need it is the gift that keeps on giving.

“We feel like we’re giving a small gift to somebody right at the right moment sometimes you don’t know when that is, but I think this is the time when you have to have empathy,” said De La Cruz.

Food Rescue US Miami rescues food almost seven days a week, whether it’s from hotels, events or supermarkets, and they want you to help volunteer as well.

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For more information and to donate, click here.

Lisa Petrillo