April 16, 2016
Parents have it a little easier when dining out these days: Applebee’s has decided to remove soda from the children’s menu, with IHOP following suit. Children and parents can still request their favorite bubbly beverage, but it simply won’t appear on the menu. 
Tom Linafelt, of Dine Equity (which owns both companies) was quoted as saying, “While soft drinks are still available by request, we believe this is a small step in assisting parents when dining out, as parents are in the best position to determine the appropriate food and beverage choices for their children.”
IHOP and Applebee’s are following suit of other popular eateries, such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Burger King who have also removed soda from their children’s menu. They hope the change will make it easier for parents to negotiate with children to pick healthier options if they are limited to what is available to them on the menu. 
Currently, 1 in 5 children are categorized as obese, and 1 in 3 are overweight. The Center for Disease Control reports that the number of obese adolescents has quadrupled in the past 30 years due to ever-increasing caloric meals and sedentary lifestyles. About 70% of obese children under the age of 18 are at risk for cardiovascular disease and even suffer from high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Obesity in childhood is linked to obesity in adulthood, as well as many different types of cancers.
February 2, 2016
It doesn’t matter who you are; experiencing the high from taking perfectly good food from restaurants and local businesses that would ordinarily end up in the trash and giving to the hungry will change you. Even for high level business men making millions, giving back could beat any bull market rush.
Robert Lee would know. He left his high-powered job to start feeding the hungry and keep good food out of the waste stream.
The co-founders of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, Robert Lee and Louisa Chen were both part of a university organization called Two Birds One Stone, which delivered leftover dining hall food on campus to homeless shelters. Through their volunteerism, the two learned best practices for the operations side in delivering food, fostering relationships with key partners within the industry, and the management skills needed to make it all work.
Lee has said, “It was kind of shocking to see how much food waste was happening around campus. I wondered: Why doesn’t every institution do something like this?”
Lee has been called the ‘Robin Hood of Leftovers’ for good reason. He has already ‘rescued’ and donated more than 290,000 meals since 2012 for those who often go without ample food. His organization, started in 2013 and called Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, saves food from the abundance we throw away every year. As his website details, millions suffer from food insecurity every year, and we throw way enough food just in our country to practically feed the entire world.