March to a Million Meals: Keeping unwanted food from going to waste

Reporter: Lois Thome Writer: Matthew Seaver
Published: Updated:
Volunteers collecting food that would otherwise be thrown away. (Credit: WINK News)

Millions of people suffer from food insecurity in the US and don’t know where their next meal comes from. At the same time, millions of tons of food are thrown away every year.

Retailers and the Harry Chapin Food Bank are working to solve that problem. They’re partnering with food pantries and community organizations all over Southwest Florida to feed people in need.

Volunteers from Adventist Community Services arrive bright and early at a Southwest Florida Aldi store to collect food the store will no longer sell. It is also food many hungry families can’t afford to buy.

“It’s eco-conscious, being able to rescue all this food that might not be they might not be able to sell it. Because it’s close to the due date or it’s on the due date, and instead of throwing it away, we get it. We give it out, and people love it. And people appreciate it. So that’s what food rescue is all about,” said Alex, with Adventist Community Services.

Right now, the holy grail is eggs.

“Oh my God, eggs right now, we got eggs. We were like, ‘oh my God, we’re getting eggs. We’re [getting] real milk. Yes, yes, it’s available.”

It’s estimated that 40% of all food produced in the United States goes to waste.

That’s why stores like Aldi, Publix, Sprouts, Winn Dixie, Costco, and others work with the Harry Chapin Food Bank and its partner agencies to keep food out of landfills.

“They know we appreciate them so much. We love the fact that they are they do this for us, for the community. You know it’s just gratefulness,” said Alex.

At Sprouts, volunteers get more milk, bread, and salads. The food will be sorted to get it into the hands of people who need it.

“So grateful because instead of them again, you know, just getting rid of it, which is the easy way out, they’re allowing us to use it and give it and, you know, help others,” said Alex.

Your donations can gas up a truck to pick up that free food, keep it out of the landfill, and get it to hungry people.

HOW TO HELP: 

Help us raise $450,000 to put a million meals on the tables of hungry families in Southwest Florida.

You can donate by visiting our March to a Million Meals donation page.

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