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This Chef Turns Food Waste into Highly Nutritious Meals

Suzy DeYoung is the founder of La Soupe, an organization that’s bridging the gap between food waste and hunger — one bowl of soup at a time. By rescuing perishable foods from grocery stores and farmers, La Soupe feeds thousands of people in need.

“It’s a statement to me that that bowl of soup is the same if you have money or if you don’t have money,” Suzy shares.

Video Transcript

Meet Suzy: Restaurant Manager

Suzy DeYoung: The food waste issue has become such a hot topic issue now, but five years ago, it was just a matter of scratching my head, not understanding why this food is going to a landfill. So I’d see it every single day. And I was like, “Wow, if I could just get my hands on that, how many people could I feed out of just what people are throwing away?”

La Soupe rescues perishable produce and turns it into nutritious, restaurant-quality soups. Forty-two percent of Cincinnati residents experience food insecurity, and 40% of food produced in the US is thrown away.

(Conversing with customers)

I want to show that we actually care and that we can give you good, nutritious food. And a lot of the problems are they don’t have the means, the transportation to get to a grocery store, they live in a food desert. A lot of the homes — they don’t have stoves and ovens so they’re not going to cook. It’s a statement to me that that bowl of soup is the same if you have money or if you don’t have money. 

La Soupe rescues over 8,000 pounds of food weekly from grocery stores and farmers and delivers it to schools and community groups across town.

Many of the people that have come in then become advocates for food waste and hunger. They just ask the question, “Why?” Which is the question that everybody should be asking — why? We’ve become so consumer-driven that everybody wants what they want when they want it versus being pragmatic about food.

(Making large batches of soup)

“Somebody send out the bat signal,” is what we would laugh and say. “He needs onions, we need onions, somebody pray about those onions.” And sure enough, the 50-pound bag shows up. It is faith-filled for sure.

(Showing variety of different types/flavors of soup)

Speaker 2: You guys know what a good soup is? Good soup is good ingredients made with love.

Speaker 3: A good soup needs lots of love and flavor and…

Speaker 4: Patience.

Speaker 3: Patience. Utilizing — here it’s utilizing as much as we can. Lots of love though, that’s for sure.

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