'Go Halfsies' Fights Hunger, Waste, and Crazy Restaurant Portions

This new initiative fights ballooning restaurant portions, food waste, and hunger at the same time.


Everyone knows restaurants' portions are out of control—they're usually two to four times the recommended meal size, and they're growing every decade. Meanwhile, almost half the food produced in the United States today is thrown away—including $44 billion worth in the retail industry—while 50 million people in the U.S. experience food insecurity or malnutrition. This triangle affects everything from obesity rates to ballooning waste-disposal costs to every person who can't afford to eat properly.

Enter Go Halfsies, a new social initiative that's tackling these three depressing, interrelated problems at the same time. Halfsies plans to partner with local restaurants, beginning in Austin and New York City, that will designate a certain portion of their menu to the initiative. When a customer chooses a meal with a "go halfsies" symbol, she'll pay full price while receiving only half of the portion. Ninety percent of the proceeds are donated to support the fight against hunger.

It's a piecemeal solution—what about all the leftover-lovers?—but it's certainly a start. And it could encourage long-term good habits, too; besides feeling good about an individual purchase, a patron may discover that a whittled-down portion suits him just fine. Eventually, perhaps that'll be enough to convince restaurants to stop wasting food in the first place, even without a "go halfsies" symbol.