What would you do with $390? I imagine that “throw it in the garbage” was not on your list of possibilities.
Nevertheless, throwing money in the garbage is what many of us do regularly when it comes to food. In 2008 the amount of uneaten food in homes and restaurants was valued at roughly $390 per U.S. consumer – more than an average month’s worth of food expenditures and almost three times the average monthly Supplemental Nutrition Program (SNAP) benefit. By reducing our food waste, we could put some of this money back in our pockets.
By reducing their food waste, manufacturers, restaurants and food stores can improve their bottom line. By donating excess food, they can also help put food on the table for families in need. Across the county, businesses are doing just that. Feeding America, a leading domestic hunger-relief charity, estimates that food donations supplied 2.7 billion meals to its clientele in 2010. “Rock and Wrap It Up!”, an award-winning national hunger relief program, provides 100,000 meals every week from the leftovers from schools, hotels, sporting events, rock concerts, political gatherings, film shoots and television tapings.
On June 4th, USDA and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will launch the U.S. Food Waste Challenge and call on others to join the effort to divert excess wholesome food to help families in need.
Check back next week for more ideas about what you can do, or learn more at www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/