New York City has its glamorous side and it sumultaneously has a large number of people who find it difficult to pay for shelter and food or those who have neither and scant means to get it. As well there are enterprising students or people of limited income who just like the idea of free food.
So this is how you get it in NYC. It’s a decidely unglamorus craft but effective nonetheless and we have film maker and comedian Jeff Seal and Gothamist to thank for this instructive video Gothamist
Usually called ‘Dumpster Diving’ there are actually few dumpsters involved in NYC. It’s actually breaking open garbage bags into which large food retailers have put all the food they have decided can’t go back on the shelves and then sifting throught it. The video is a thorough tutorial.
You need gloves, a torch and the ability to withstand the curious glances of New Yorkers as they rush by, However they won’t glance too curiously because there is a closely observed New York rule to not notice anything a bit out of the ordinary.
Most of the food is in small containers of various kinds so once you get over the squeamisheness of all that rooting around in garbage bags there is lots and lots of healthy and perfectly clean food available to you.
It may not be around for much longer. It has not gone unnoticed that perfectly good food is being thrown out while some people starve. So now a large number of Non Government Organizations (NGO’s) who help those in need are contracting with stores to cart away the food that would otherwise be thrown out and give to to those that need it.
Starbucks, nation wide, has just agreed to just such an exchange and as Seal notes in his film, Trader Joes is looking at a similair deal. So if you want to collect your free food in NYC you had better get a move one before there is an overwhelming outbreak of good sense from all NYC’s food retailers.