April 22 is Earth Day, an international event to celebrate the importance of making smart choices when it comes to how we treat our environment. More and more often, the topic of food waste is being included in conversations about the environment. It makes sense when you consider that up to 40 percent of the good, safe food produced in America today never makes it to people’s plates. Instead 40 percent – or 70 billion tons – go to waste. It fills landfills and consequently harms the land – when it could be nourishing the people who need it the most.
In America today 49 million people in America face hunger. That means they don’t always know where their next meal is coming from. That’s why Feeding America works with major food producers, manufacturers, and retailers to rescue good, safe, excess food that would otherwise go to waste and share it with food-insecure families in communities across the country. Feeding America is proud to be a founding member of the Food Waste Reduction Alliance, which is helping to enhance the work done by members across the food industry through building awareness and sharing best practices that help avoid the negative environmental impact of good food going to landfills.
Our mission is to fight hunger and through national partnerships like these, the Feeding America network of food banks have been able to rescue more than 2.2 billion pounds of food in the past year. We are proud to be helping reduce waste while also getting more food to more people. After all, respecting the earth is something that brings positive results for everyone.
If you’re not sure if hunger is an issue in your community, please check out the Feeding America Map the Meal Gap interactive map and click through to your county. Use the map to connect with your local food bank and sign up for volunteer opportunities that can help food make its way to families in need. And, test your food waste knowledge by taking our food waste quiz, Waste It or Taste It, and challenge your friends to do the same.
*Mike Huffman is the communication manager at Feeding America.