Yep, we’re all about creative ideas for reducing food waste… and we’re just thrilled to see a few more. You’ve likely heard this scary statistic: 40% of the US’ food gets wasted along the supply chain. Most of that occurs towards the end, at retailers, restaurants, and homes. Yet people still go hungry… so we still have to work at getting this wasted food (most of which is still perfectly edible) to those in need.
Mary Gerush, who writes at sister site Eat.Drink.Better, found a few more innovative approaches to keeping edible food out of dumpsters, trash cans, and landfills. Take a look at these ideas on how to reduce food waste, and then let us know about other inspiring practices that you’ve come across.
Rerouting Food Waste to the Food Bank
The average American tosses 20 pounds of food a month — much of which could be rerouted to a food bank. Meanwhile 1 in 6 people in the United States fights hunger. It’s a bleak situation that needs remedying.
So I was pleased to read a recent Civil Eats article highlighting bright spots in the form of creative organizations finding new ways to turn waste into taste. I hope they inspire you.
Moving Companies That Relocate Your Excess Food
When you move, you usually toss a lot of that food you’ve stocked up in your pantry, right? And you’re too busy moving to even consider taking it to a local food bank. Enter Move for Hunger — a non-profit group that partners with movers around the country to get excess non-perishable food from those who are relocating to people who can use it. The movers donate their time to package the food and take it to a food bank. What a great idea. Today, Move for Hunger partners with 600 movers in 40 states and has helped turn nearly 3 million pounds of potential food waste into meals for the hungry. Next time you’ve got an impending move, find your mover on the Move for Hunger web site.
A Non-Profit That Mobilizes Volunteers to Divert Food Waste
If you work in the San Francisco area and your company ends up with leftover perishable food, don’t throw it out! Call Food Runners, a volunteer organization dedicated to alleviating hunger in San Francisco. A volunteer will pick up your donation and deliver it to an agency that feeds people in need. Each week, these caring people collect more than 15 tons of food from restaurants, caterers, bakeries, hospitals, event planners, corporate cafeterias, and hotels and deliver it to neighborhood food programs that feed the hungry.
A Food Truck That Takes (Not Makes) Food
Another bright spot — this time in Minneapolis/Saint Paul. Beer maker Finnegans created what they call a Reverse Food Truck. It doesn’t sell chow — it accepts food donations that it reroutes to the Emergency Foodshelf Network, a local food bank. Finnegans says: “Think of it as a food drive on wheels.” Brilliant. Interestingly, the company also donates 100% of its profits to its Finnegans Community Fund which is dedicated to ending hunger. This is a company I’d like to work for. (Finnegans beer is available in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.)
Let’s hope these types of endeavors pop up all over the world. Thanks to Tove Danovich for writing about these positive signs in the fight against food waste and hunger.
Image Credit: Finnegans