The San Jose Sharks are winning on and off the ice.
On Monday, the Bay Area team received a certificate of achievement for its success in implementing the Food Recovery Challenge, an Environmental Protection Agency initiative that aims to reduce food waste and feed the needy.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by the EPA for the organization’s efforts with the Food Recovery Challenge. The Sharks organization takes great pride in being a ‘good neighbor’ within our local communities,” Sharks spokesperson Scott Emmert said.
The Sharks began participating in the program in 2010. Since then, the team has donated more than 20,000 pounds of food, creating 15,580 meals for hungry people in the Bay Area.
The food comes from the prepared-but-untouched concession food left over from game nights. The Sharks’ donations are made through a local soup kitchen called Martha’s Kitchen in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose.
“EPA is proud to recognize these environmental heroes of the NHL,” EPA regional administrator Jared Blumenfeld said in a news release.
The Food Recovery Challenge is not the only environmentally conscious initiative the Sharks have implemented. In 2012, the team installed a Bloom Energy Server which replaces about 90 percent of electrical utility power used during non-events at SAP Center and about 25 percent used during the Shark’s game days.
The team has also partnered with SIMS Recycling Solution to encourage fans and staff to recycle old electronics in an environmentally responsible fashion. This has led to the recycling of about 100,000 pounds of electric waste since the partnership began in 2010.
"The Sharks continue to take a leadership role by once again proving the environmental and financial benefits of effective waste management strategies, from source reduction and food donations to recycling and composting," the NHL’s director of sustainability said in a news release.