Like everything else, Re-food began as an idea.
No one knows where ideas come from, but the context can be described.
Hunter Halder, an American ex-patriot, living in Lisbon, Portugal, found himself to be without sources of income as a result of the economic crisis and, in 2009, began to question what he would do about it. His consideration of possible career paths broadened into an analysis and assessment of his overall contribution throughout his 59 years on planet earth. That assessment did not reveal any acceptable degree of contribution to the wellbeing of others. Having always tried to be good to others and helpful whenever possible did not negate the fact that all of his endeavors had been developed for his own benefit.
In 2010, he took a radical decision: not to work more for himself, but rather for others, for humanity. During this year he read, reflected and fasted - then he began to elaborate a series of humanitarian projects of his own design (three concerning the Olympics and Human Rights and two connected to fund raising, on a global scale, for existing NGOs).
In this context and at a dinner with his daughters, the older girl, 18 at the time, (Mayara, who wishes to remain anonymous) asked what would happen to all of the food left over from the Salad Bar near their table. Her father responded that it would surely go to the trash. "What a shame!" was her answer. "It's not just the salad, but all unsold prepared food, that will go to the trash tonight" he replied. "Big shame!" she exclaimed. "Yes, it is, he said, but it's not just this restaurant, it's all of the restaurants in Lisbon and all of the restaurants in the world - the size of this "shame" is not insignificant". His reply did not afford her any comfort and she proceeded to blame the restaurant owners and personnel. Her father explained that it was not their fault, as they did not know who needed the food and as they were tired after a long day and had to wash the pots and pans and go home.
A short time after this initial conversation, the same daughter got her first job - as it happened, it was as an extra at a local hotel helping to cater a banquet. On her very first night and immediately after the guests left, she witnessed large trays of perfectly good (and expensive) food being unceremoniously dumped into the trash. She arrived home livid (as the Portuguese say, "ready to break the dishes"). Her father tried to calm her as she related what she had seen. Once again he tried to defend the hotel personnel, explaining that it was not their fault, as they had no alternative.
The word "alternative" turned out to be the trigger. The proverbial light bulb went off in his head and it illuminated a simple question: "if there was an alternative, what form might it take?"
The first draft of the Re-food Project was written that night.
That was the context - where the idea came from remains unexplained.
What is perhaps more clear, however, was that ideas of this nature come with the obligation to act.