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Green Bin Dinner

Neighborhood dinners, cooked in a local restaurant kitchen, with almost-green-bin-bound food, contributed by all participants.

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Often, the items that end up in someone's home green bin are the little bits that don't go with anything else, or the left overs. We propose that the community come together, bring those food bits, and make something delicious, together, with them. So how does that work; start by utilizing systems that already exist. Let's gather people by posting dinner events on Nextdoor. Let's utilize the kitchen of a local restaurant on the day they are closed. Let's cook for each other, together, rather than requiring a professional to cook for us. And let's gather around a table to get to know each other better and nourish ourselves with the collective fare. This doesn't just keep food from going to waste, but it also strengthens our community and the community's resilience. 


The "yes and"s to this are many:

- yes and youth can use these opportunities to learn to cook

- yes and restaurants that sponsor these dinners might attract new customers

- yes and adjacent communities can combine to make larger dinners, meet more people, explore our city

- yes and those who are food insecure can join and eat while feeling supported by their community

- yes and if a community has a large food generator nearby partnerships can be made to use their leftovers to feed everyone

- yes and obviously this will be fun - it should feel like a party

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

This idea, of cooking leftovers collectively, can be done at any scale. Maybe it is a dinner at someone's home with 4-5 neighbors, at first. Then it moves to an outside location - a required element if it is going to scale. If we partner with Nextdoor, by using their platform to gather people, maybe they can sponsor a dinner by securing the first location, as that may be the hardest part for individuals.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Logistics. A beautiful invitation. A volunteer restaurant.

Tell us about your work experience:

I am a marketing professional and I work at the SF Dept of the Environment. I am not a graphics designer but I'm a great people person. My background is in traditional advertising (media planning & buying), but now I call myself the Chief Translator; I spend the day learning very cool sciencey things and then I strategize about how to tell them to people in lay terms.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s just been created! It’s existed for 1 day - 1 month

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