Tri-tip steak, honey-baked hams: 70,000 pounds of food donated after US Open

Honey-baked hams. Tri-tip steaks. Eggs, butter, hot sauce. Produce, lunch meat, hamburgers and chicken.

There was a lot of leftover food — roughly 70,000 pounds — after the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay, and for the first time it is being donated to help people in need.

On Tuesday, pallets of food were trucked to Lakewood to the warehouse of the Emergency Food Network, the Pierce County nonprofit that distributes goods to local food banks and shelters.

The network is the first group after a U.S. Open that’s been able to successfully take all the surplus from the event.

“Everything you would need to run a very upscale corporate kitchen,” network director Helen McGovern-Pilant said.

“The other thing that is unusual is that it’s all current,” she added. “It’s not a week from its expiration date. It’s all beautiful, wonderful food.”

The company that contracts to cater the corporate hospitality efforts of the United States Golf Association is Maryland-based Ridgewells Catering.

The company has tried after other U.S. Opens to find places to donate the leftovers, but most food banks can take only some items.

“We end up throwing a lot away,” said Andrew Chalfant, Ridgewells’ director of major events. “It’s unique that they have the facilities and the capabilities to accept so much. That’s what we do is feed people.”

The Emergency Food Network even took surplus K-Cup coffees, and some unused bath towels, he said.

“They brought a big huge tractor-trailer that was refrigerated, and they loaded it up with everything we could put in it,” Chalfant said.

It looks like that might become a tradition.

McGovern-Pilant agreed to help look for a group near the Pittsburgh suburb of Oakmont, Pennsylvania, to accept the surplus food after the 2016 U.S. Open there.