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Twin Cities Charities Divert Tons of Waste From Super Bowl

Star Tribune
Twin Cities nonprofits have kept the Super Bowl leftovers from landfills. 

 

he Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated items and food.

The Salvation Army is acting as a distribution hub for Super Bowl LII leftovers. Above, marketing director Michelle Wong with some of the donated items and food. Photo Source: Star Tribune

What could have become a giant dump of Super Bowl leftovers from U.S. Bank Stadium, the Convention Center and Nicollet Mall is instead being reused and repurposed by more than 20 local charities.

The Salvation Army has collected more than 1 million square feet of mesh fencing, banners and carpeting used before and during the Super Bowl and is distributing the materials to other local charities.

Then there’s the miscellaneous — the Kitten Bowl set, pallets of hand warmers, food and beverages, and supplies such as desks, pens, pencils and Post-it notes for more than 100 offices in the temporary headquarters.

“No one wants to take those supplies back with them, so we donate them to charities to use in classrooms,” said Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program, which facilitates the material recovery project. “It’s more than 2,000 pounds of supplies.”

More than 16 months ago, the National Football League’s Environmental Program began building a network of charities to use Super Bowl leftovers instead of sending them to the landfill.

“We’re the first pro sports league to do this,” Groh said. ”The initiative started 25 years ago and now we do it at major sports events like the Super Bowl, the Pro Bowl and the draft.”

The Twin Cities Salvation Army took the lead by acting as a distribution hub for nearly all the items. It used most of its fleet of 18 donation trucks to collect the materials from four major sites and transported it to its warehouse and store at 900 N. 4th St. in Minneapolis. From there, the other 21 charities could pick up what was useful for them.

“It’s an enormous amount of stuff,” said Tom Canfield, administrator of operations for Twin Cities Salvation Army.

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Oakland A’s to Give Plant-Based Burger its Stadium Debut

East Bay Times

The "Impossible Burgers" are served after a panel discussion about the plant-based meat during an event announcing the new facility under construction for Impossible Foods in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

The “Impossible Burgers” are served after a panel discussion about the plant-based meat during an event announcing the new facility under construction for Impossible Foods in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, March 22, 2017. (Laura A. Oda/Bay Area News Group)

When the Oakland A’s take the field March 29 for their first home game of the 2018 season, another player will make a debut appearance at the Oakland Coliseum.

It’s the Impossible Burger, a vegan burger that tastes like meat. Spectra Food Services and Hospitality, which manages the Coliseum’s food operations, will become the first professional sports stadium in the nation to offer this Bay Area-born burger.

The Coliseum’s executive chef, Effie Spiegler, has created two versions for MLB fans. And look for an all-vegan option to join the menu.

His “Impossible French Onion Sliders,” with caramelized balsamic onions, oil-cured tomatoes and brie spread on brioche slider buns, will be sold at Concessions Stand 123.

His “Impossible Breakfast Burger,” with a sunny-side-up egg, applewood-smoked bacon, oil-cured tomatoes. bacon aioli and ghost-pepper cheese (watch out!) will be available at the Shibe Park Tavern.

“The quality and variety of food offerings at the ballpark is a key part to the fan experience,” said A’s President Dave Kaval said in a statement.  “We love the story behind the Impossible Burger. It is not only cutting edge and innovative in its approach to food production, but it is also the best plant-based burger currently on the market. We are thrilled to be the first team to offer it to our fans.”

Thanks to the power of Twitter, yet another Impossible Burger creation should be coming soon.

“This is great, @DaveKaval!” tweeted Ryan Thibodaux at @notmrtibbs. “But must both available menu items for this vegan burger have non-vegan ingredients (bacon, cheese, egg)? It’d be awesome for us vegan fans to have a great burger option without having ask to “hold the…” Still, very cool!”

Kaval was quick tor respond: “Yes. We can do that. Thanks for the suggestion.”

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Andrew Ference says NHL must reach beyond ‘middle-aged white dudes’

ESPN

2018.03.26-Ference-IMAGE

Andrew Ference believes in hockey.

He played in the NHL for 16 seasons and 907 games, winning a Stanley Cup with the Boston Bruins in 2011. But his impact was less defined by what he accomplished on the ice than what the game allowed him to accomplish away from it: At a time when hockey players shunned activism and accepted an uncomplicated “shut up and skate” attitude, Ference was the antithesis.

His peers used to goof on him for his environmental stances — he heard “tree-hugger” and “hippie” with frequency — like driving an electric car when he wasn’t riding a bike, and being a dedicated composter. But Ference helped the NHL Players’ Association create the Carbon Neutral Challenge, a program that sought to offset the carbon footprint of players traveling to games. He worked for years on the NHL Green initiative that spearheaded a dozen environmentally friendly projects adopted by teams.

He also has been a public face for LGBTQ equality in hockey, including an endorsement of Pride Tape, whose profits support youth outreach initiatives. He marched in Edmonton’s Pride Parade in 2014, becoming the first pro athlete in the city to do so.

He believes in hockey, because he believes the sport can be used as he has used it: as a way to build communities and, via the NHL, as a platform to effect change.

“From the NHL’s point of view, in the last year we put out our declaration of principles that spells out what we know hockey culture to be. It puts it on paper that we are welcoming of all forms of the game, and everybody who loves the game. No matter where you come from, no matter what your sexual orientation is,” Ference said. “It’s great, but those are words. It’s up to us to turn that into action.”

So he has taken action: Ference, who last played in 2015 for the Edmonton Oilers, has joined the NHL as its first director of social impact, growth and fan development. His focus will be on grass-roots growth, community efforts and better facilitating the relationship between players and the league.

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