In the U.S. up to 40% of food goes to waste, while annually 49 million Americans suffer from food insecurity. In an effort to reduce waste and feed those that are in need, NBCUniversal film and television productions donate excess food to the communities in which they film. In 2015, nearly 34,000 pounds of excess food, equating to over 26,000 meals, were donated from 33 NBCUniversal film and television productions in six cities across North America.

Started in 2009, the NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program connects TV and film productions with local non-profits that serve the hungry. When a show is in production, crews that often number over 100 are fed two meals daily. Despite careful planning by the production and catering company, there always seems to be a little food leftover. This high quality food is wrapped up and kept at a safe temperature until the time of donation. Local non-profits collect the food and immediately feed hungry people.

Food donations come from shows produced under Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Television and Universal Cable Productions, spanning across North America.  For example, in Toronto, USA’s Suits, NBC’s Heroes Reborn, and SyFy’s 12 Monkeys and Defiance donated to local organizations, Second Harvest and Good Sheppard. In NYC, Focus Feature’s upcoming release, The Book of Henry, USA’s Mr. Robot, NBC’s Shades of Blue, and Universal Television-produced Master of None (Netflix) and The Path (Hulu) all donated food with the help of the poverty think tank and the food recovery organization, Rock and Wrap It Up! The organization also coordinated donations from feature films produced around the US including Universal Picture’s June 2016 release Pop Star: Never Stop Never Stopping.

In Los Angeles, NBC’s Telenovela, Crowded, Superstore, and Hollywood Game Night donated food through the Universal Lot’s partnership with Food Finders. In addition to the production food donations, the Universal City Studio’s employee commissary, operated under Wolfgang Puck, donated excess food to Chefs to End Hunger, recovering 13,275 lbs. in 2015, which is the equivalent of 10,212 meals.

The NBCUniversal Sustainable Production Program is part of NBCUniversal’s ongoing commitment to both sustainability and fighting hunger in local communities.

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