Columbus teen repurposing food from local restaurants to feed the hungry

Updated: Aug. 30, 2020 at 9:21 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Project Lunchtime is an initiative created to help people in the community. The idea came about in early July by Columbus teenager Ayomide Oloyede.

Oloyede came up with the idea to keep left over restaurant food from being wasted by giving it to people in need. He started by partnering with his employer Zombie Pig BBQ and Gifts of God Ministry.

“One day I just asked my manager if I could take some of the food that was about to be taken away that was still good, and then I called Apostle Burke to see if we could set something up to start giving it to homeless people, people in need and low-income elderly,” said Oloyede.

A month later, Oloyede is partnering with two other Columbus restaurants, La Nacional Mexican Buffet and Ezell’s Catfish, to repurpose left over food that is still up to health code standards.

Throughout each week, he and members of Gifts of God Ministry are packaging meals and handing them out to people in need. Sunday, the team packaged meals and passed them out at The Safe House, Waverly Terrace Senior Apartments and more.

One man who received a meal shared how it made him feel to see the youth give back.

“He’s doing a great job. Most young people don’t do that. They don’t have time for us elderly. We really appreciate you,” said Marcus Brown.

In addition to launching this project, Oloyede is a rising senior at Brookstone School and is involved in athletics and fine arts. While juggling school life and personal life, he still finds time to give back to his community.

“It’s busy, but it’s all rewarding. It all you know, it’s a trench when you’re in it, but after you get through it and you achieve your goals and it always feels better,” said Oloyede.

Oloyede said he has saved almost 500 pounds of food from going to waste and is hoping to partner with other local restaurants in the Columbus area. If you would like to get involved you can email him at

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