What’s the deal with food waste?
As we celebrate Earth Day, the attention in the food industry turns to food waste. 40 percent of food that is produced never makes it to a plate. With agriculture accounting for 70 percent of the water used throughout the world, food waste also represents a great waste of freshwater and groundwater resources. In addition, 21 percent of our landfills contain decomposing food. As food decomposes, it produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is twenty-one times more potent than carbon dioxide and one of the most dangerous to the environment. Food waste is a worthy cause to turn our attention to.
At Waste Not, we combat hunger and food waste by rescuing excess food from conscious grocers, caterers, and restaurants. We then deliver it to nonprofits who feed and assist hungry men, women, and children in metro Phoenix. Unfortunately, hunger is an issue that is not getting better…it’s getting worse. The statistic has risen to 1 in 3 children go to bed hungry every night and Arizona has one of the highest food insecurity rates in the country.
In order to fight these ever-increasing hunger statistics, six days a week, our trucks are on the road picking up almost 10,000 pounds of food per day and delivering the same day to our network of 100 local recipient agencies. Last year, we rescued almost 3 million pounds of excess food that would otherwise go into the landfill. Instead, this life-sustaining food was delivered to feed the hungry.
The issues of hunger and food waste are far from being solved, but our organization and our dedicated food donors, financial donors and our nonprofit network are working hard within our community to make sure that hungry people are fed and that food does not go to waste.