Food waste—Hungry People: Connect the Dots Part II

Last year an article in The Guardian suggested that as much as half of all U.S. food produce is wasted (Goldenberg, 2016). The article points to evidence that the market demand for perfect produce has resulted in fruits and vegetables with mere cosmetic blemishes rotting in fields. Of course the U.S. is not the only country to waste food; according to the article approximately 30 percent of food in the world gets trashed. Meanwhile, millions are hungry and starving. Here in Virginia 17 percent of children, hundreds of thousands, are hungry (No Kid Hungry Virginia, 2017). The good news is everyone knows this is a solvable problem. Moreover, the experts, organizations such as No Kid Hungry Virginia and The Gleaning Network, do not think we need to produce more food to solve the problem: just stop the waste. Instead of throwing food away, get it to the people who need it. This past summer a young volunteer was surprised that the food we gleaned was often trashed if we didn’t pick it up. It seemed like a lot to him. After more than two years of gleaning and distribution of thousands of pounds of food, we had grown accustomed to it. I was reminded of the time my wife and I visited a large food bank in a rural region of North Carolina. In addition to being impressed by the logistics of the operation we were surprised that they distributed more than 40,000 pounds of food per day. In one small, rural region in one state out of 50.

40, 000 pounds per day. More than 15 million pounds per year. Yet, one of the executives felt bad because they still were not meeting the need. As she cited, there is no congressional district in the U.S. where food insecurity does not exist. We can change that. Thanks to our long relationship with Panera, support from Target, collaboration with gleaning organizations and volunteers, we are. Contact us to find out how you can help.

References

Goldenberg, S. (2016).  Half of all US food produce is thrown away, new research suggests. The Guardian, July 13. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/jul/13/us-food-waste-ugly-fruit-vegetables-perfect

No Kid Hungry Virginia. (2017). Retrieved from https://va.nokidhungry.org/ .

The Gleaning Network. (2017). Retrieved from http://endhunger.org/gleaning-network/

MANNA Foodbank. (2017). Retrieved from https://www.mannafoodbank.org/who-we-are/about-manna-foodbank/