NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– For most kids, summer is the time to give your brain a break to rest and relax. However, it’s not the case for one local high school student.
As CBS2’s Cindy Hsu reported, he has an appetite for volunteering all year long.
High school student Aaron Wong delivers leftover food to the needy. He volunteers with the group Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, picking-up excess food from restaurants and walking it to nearby shelters and food pantries.
It’s eye-opening to see what would’ve been thrown out.
“I think we will take pretty much everything, we work with places that give us hot soup, give us sandwiches, prepared rice with vegetables,” Wong said.
Robert Lee started the group when he learned how much food ends up in the trash.
“Forty percent of the food that we produce in this country is wasted,” Lee said.
That’s 40 percent in the garbage. Volunteers will pick up any amount of food, no matter how small, which sets them apart from other rescue groups that often require at least 100 pounds of food for a pick-up.
One drop-off is headed for New York City Rescue Mission and the food is always weighed to keep track of how much is being saved.
Wong started volunteering two years ago, when he was just 15, because his high school required 75 hours of community service to graduate.
“I’ve lost count now, but it’s over a thousand [hours],” he said.
He sometimes volunteers five days a week and even started a Rescuing Leftovers group at his school, where’s he about to begin his senior year.
“It’s insane how much he’s been able to do at such a young age,” Lee said.
And he plans to keep on going. He’s hoping others will join him to feed the hungry.
The group has expanded nationwide across 12 cities and there’s a huge need for more volunteers. So many restaurants want to donate, they’re on a waiting list, because there aren’t enough volunteers to pick up all the food.