Summer barbecues, picnics, and dinners on the back porch with family and friends will be enjoyed by millions in America. Feeding people we love often means cooking way more than we need….we’ve all done that! The intentions are so good but with these celebrations will come millions of pounds of leftovers headed for the trash.
Why is food waste a problem? I went to Food Forward in California for an answer…
“The tragedy is that the United States is losing 40% of its food supply at time when hunger and food insecurity are growing. There are nearly 50 million people in the United States living in households without suitable access to healthy food, and it’s not because of food shortages or a lack of production. As their Founder puts it, “Hunger is a distribution problem, not a supply problem.”
You’re probably thinking that because your food has been opened or cooked that it cannot be given away. That is not true! You also may be thinking that with millions facing food insecurity, how can one make a dent? You alone can’t solve the problem but you can certainly provide relief for another human being.
Feeding America started MealConnect where a driver comes to you to collect the food – check to see if it’s in your home town. Make a list of three places to call – your local church/synagogue/mosque, food pantry, YMCA’s, shelters, elder services organizations. It may take a couple of calls to find a place ready to receive your food. At a recent conference there were around 50 box lunches left over. A couple of calls to homeless shelters was all it took to find where the food could be delivered.
Another idea is to take a day this summer to start a food drive.
Tell us how you plan to share your leftovers today and this summer!