Feeding the 5000 Front Range, a free festival aimed at raising awareness of growing food waste issues in Denver, Colorado, and around the world, will provide a delicious, free lunch to thousands made entirely from fresh, quality ingredients that would have otherwise been wasted, on Friday, October 14, 2016, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Denver’s Skyline Park. The festival, held just prior to World Food Day, is one of the 40-odd events of its kind spearheaded by London-based nonprofit Feedback, which works to end waste at every level of the food system.

James Beard Foundation award-winning chef Jennifer Jasinski, a “Top Chef Masters” finalist and owner of Rioja, Bistro Vendome, Stoic & Genuine, Euclid Hall and the upcoming Ultreia, will prepare the menu for the free lunch in the kitchens of Johnson & Wales University, alongside Euclid Hall chef de cuisine and Johnson & Wales alumnus Jorel Pierce. With the support of dozens of Denver area volunteers and organizations, and EPA Region 8 (Denver), they will transform nearly two thousand pounds of fresh, otherwise wasted produce provided by We Don’t Waste, a local food recovery non-profit, or harvested from local farms like the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms and Grant Farms, into a tasty, satisfying meal for the public.

“Thoughtful, seasonal, sustainable and most importantly delicious food is at the center of all that I do,”Jasinski said. “As someone who cares deeply about using and enjoying the food that I buy, cook, and serve, collaborating on a Feeding the 5000 event is both a natural fit and an exceptionally fun opportunity to raise awareness of the crucial issue of food waste in the Front Range region.”

Recent research shows that 63 million tons of perfectly edible food end up in American landfills each year – a terrifying number from a resource and greenhouse emissions perspective, but all the more galling in light of the millions of Americans who live in food insecure households.

For more information on Feeding the 5000 Front Range, visit www.feedingthe5000usa.org/frontrange to learn more and to sign up to volunteer. Follow #F5KUSA to join the conversation.