Surplus Banquet Food Program
When you visit Three Square, you will surely feel the presence of MGM Resorts International. MGM Resorts is recognized throughout the food bank for their long-standing commitment to Three Square’s mission. Food insecurity is one of the most serious public health challenges in the United States, according to statistics from the United States Department of Agriculture. In the United States, one in nine people struggles with hunger. More than 272,000 people struggle with hunger in Southern Nevada, including more than 102,000 children.
As an initial funder, MGM Resorts has been an instrumental partner to Three Square since our inception and now they are taking their dedication to the next level. Since then, MGM Resorts has donated more than 2.7 million meals through food drives and their employees have volunteered 54,193 hours to help Three Square build programs, such as the Summer Backpack for Kids Program, which has provided 127,000 meals to children in the community since 2016.
In 2016, we expanded our partnership with a new standardized program for safe collection, preservation and service of surplus banquet food that will help reduce hunger in Southern Nevada. By announcing a two year grant of $768,000 from MGM Resorts, with an initial grant in 2018 of $286,000 to help build the core infrastructure to expand the program to include an innovative food donation process that combats food waste and food insecurity at scale by collecting and preserving unserved, untouched event food from MGM Resorts. The surplus banquet food program consists of the collection of prepared but unserved hot, surplus banquet food from MGM Resorts' properties. Three Square freezes the food through blast-chilling technology, then stores it until a community need arises. This gives hunger relief agencies the ability to order prepared entrees and menu items from Three Square, incorporating them into their ongoing meal planning. MGM Resorts and Three Square have developed standard operating procedures to ensure the safe, consistent and replicable collection of surplus banquet food. Over the next few months, those best practices will be available to others, in hopes of inspiring similar action across the hospitality industry.
In 2018, MGM Resort’s five major convention resorts participated in the program, rescuing over 279,000 meals, bringing our total number of meals donated through the new process to 1,000,000 meals since the program’s inception in 2016. We have ambitious aspirations with a goal of donating 5 million meals by 2025. To learn more about this program, please visit MGMResorts.com.