Barbara Bronstein is the Founder, President and Volunteer with Second Servings of Houston. With 1 in 5 people facing food insecurity in Harris County and an estimated 31% of available food going to waste, it is essential that we redirect perfectly edible surplus away from the landfill to the people who really need it. Leftover food from banquet or restaurant. Have you ever wondered what happens to the excess prepared food from no-shows at a banquet? How about the unsold food at the end of the day at a cafeteria, sports venue, or retailer? Regrettably, the food is usually thrown out and sent to the landfill, where it produces potent greenhouse gas.
Discarding perfectly edible food when over 800,000 people in our community face food insecurity concerned Barbara deeply, so she decided to do something about it. After conducting extensive research, she became certified in safe food handling, wrote a business plan, and founded Second Servings of Houston, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in 2014. They work with hotels, caterers, cafeterias, retailers, distributors, convention centers, and other regulated food businesses that have surplus food to donate on a regular or occasional basis. We supply pans and lids, schedule the pickups, and deliver the food safely and promptly to approved charitable meal sites for free.
Raised in New York, Barbara has called Houston home for 35 years. She graduated from Tufts University in the Boston area, before earning an MBA in Marketing from New York University. After a successful career marketing some of America's leading brands for Unilever, Mars, and Coca-Cola, Barbara piloted a banquet food rescue program known as "Banquet Bounty for the Hungry" for 18 months. It served as the precursor to the nonprofit organization, Second Servings of Houston, which she founded in 2014.
Barbara has always played an active role in the community. In addition to numerous leadership awards, Barbara was recognized by the Houston Chronicle as a “Houston Hero” in 2016. She has been featured on local television affiliates of ABC, NBC, CBS, and Fox, as well as in national media. She is currently on the Board of Directors of the Houston Culinary Guild, a professional organization for 50 women in the food industry, and provides pro bono leadership to Second Servings.