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Baltimore man gives back to the community by delivering leftover food to those in need

Posted at 7:21 PM, Jun 28, 2024

BALTIMORE — Have you ever wondered what happens to the leftover bagels when the bagel shop closes? Well, we followed one Baltimore man who gives a lot of love to those leftovers.

"You guys ready to go?"

Omar Tarabishi has his routine down. He leaves home at 2:50 to be at his first stop, a Canton bagel shop, right at closing time, 3 p.m. He's been doing this for six months, since he founded Leftover Love, a nonprofit organization that rescues food and takes it to places where people can easily get it.

“Our goals are twofold,” Tarabishi says. “We want to eliminate hunger and we also want to eliminate waste.”

The idea came to him three years ago when he and his wife went to a Cubs game in Chicago.

“That's it, game's pretty much over and I went to go get ice cream,” he says. “At the concession stand, there's so much food still left over. What's done with this food? And the people at the Cubs stadium said they throw it away.”

Tarabishi couldn't get it out of his mind. And in January, he quit his job in DC and started Leftover Love.

“We want to be able to grab bagels, baked goods, pastries – things that are kinda grab and go, easy to consume, easy to eat,” he says.

On this day, he makes two stops at THB, a local bagel shop chain, at their Canton and Locust Point stores.

Mike Pepperman is one of the managers in Locust Point.

“I'm happy,” Pepperman says. “Someone's getting the bagels for feeding people that may be hungry, who may be less fortunate.”

Growing up, he says he saw his immigrant parents, who didn't have much when they came from Egypt, giving to others. And now he's giving back to his community.

“We're part of Baltimore and I think it's a no-brainer,” Tarabishi says.

Leftover Love is looking for more volunteers to pick up goods at local restaurants, and for more businesses to donate. They get food from recreation programs and catered events, too. And they have a fundraising drive going on now.