Realtors Association Launches Effort to Fight Event Food Waste

The National Association of Realtors is working with a food-salvage nonprofit to help redistribute unused food from events—and is encouraging its 1,200 state and local affiliates to do the same.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is a large enough organization that when it does something big, it has ripple effects.

And it just did something really big to help fight hunger.

NAR announced at its annual Leadership Summit in Chicago this week that it would begin donating its surplus food items from its various events and meetings to anti-hunger causes. The group is working with the Food Recovery Network (FRN), which engages students on college campuses in efforts to help fight food loss. The nonprofit has worked with school campuses and local restaurants around the country since its 2011 founding.

NAR CEO Bob Goldberg  noted in comments reported by the association’s Realtor magazine that the group often faces legal restrictions on what it can do with food from its events, due to restrictions intended to prevent illnesses from spreading.

“We serve all this food at these conferences, and at the end of the day, we have to throw it all away,” he said.

But food that hasn’t been served doesn’t face such legal restrictions, making it useful to redistribute to those in need. And the scale doesn’t have to be big to be useful, either: After a series of NAR events were canceled in May, the association worked with FRN to redistribute 85 unused meals to Charlie’s Place, a local nonprofit supporting the homeless.

The association is calling on its 1,200 state and local affiliates to follow suit too. And FRN says it’s ready to help as needed, including at NAR’s annual Realtors Conference & Expo, to be held in San Francisco in November—an event that will have an estimated 200,000 attendees.

“We look forward to partnering with NAR and the entire Realtor family to make food donation a regular part of their events and meetings. We make it fast, easy and simple for organizations to donate surplus food to people who need it the most,” FRN Executive Director Regina Anderson said in a news release. “Our two organizations share the goal of making food recovery—not food waste—the standard at real estate industry events.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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