Pass the Food Recovery Act to Fight Food Waste and Hunger!
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We Need to Pass Congresswoman Pingree’s Food Recovery Act Now
Despite living in the richest country in the world, 48 million Americans still don’t know where their next meal will come from. That means a staggering 19 percent of households with children are food insecure. Meanwhile, we throw away nearly 40 percent of all food in the United States. This saddening reality is unacceptable, and we must do better.
Instead of sending so much food to the landfill, we could be redistributing it to help those food insecure Americans. Because no one likes wasted food or hunger, this is truly a bi-partisan issue. But still, millions of pounds of good, healthy food goes uneaten every day because of systematic barriers that we know we can remove through specific policy changes.
Last December, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree proposed the Food Recovery Act—legislation that proposes more than 15 ways to tackle wasted food and hunger in America. The bill presents a sweeping set of changes in four areas:
- Retail and Restaurants - strengthen food donation and study barriers that prevent donation of extra food;
- Schools and Institutions - expand grant programs to educate students about food waste and encourage food rescue. Revise National School Lunch Program rules to encourage use of produce that's local, fresh, tasty and less expensive but imperfect in shape or size;
- Consumers - clarify "sell-by" dates and sponsor a national campaign to raise awareness of the impact of food waste and ways to prevent it; and
- Farms - enable usage of “ugly” fruits and vegetables and invest in storage and distribution programs to help food banks.
Yet this bill is currently stalled in a House subcommittee.
I’m Jordan Figueiredo, a solid waste specialist, and founder of EndFoodWaste.org and the @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign. Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland and creator of WastedFood.com, and I are asking you to join us in calling on Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Congress to help stop massive food waste by agreeing to introduce, support, and pass the Food Recovery Act.
We are asking Congress to step up and do something simple, effective and beneficial for America, our farmers, our children and those in need. Wasted food is a major problem, and the Food Recovery Act would greatly minimize it. One out of six Americans lives in a food insecure home, yet we waste enough good food in the U.S. to feed them and nearly every single food insecure person on the planet (800 million). With statistics like this, it is simply irresponsible to continue the status quo.
Last Fall, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency set a strong goal to reduce wasted food by 50 percent by 2030. Even more recently, Congress passed the America Gives More provision that solidified tax credits for any farm, store, or restaurant donating food to a non-profit agency. While this is a good start, it’s not nearly enough.
Join myself and Jonathan and let’s ask Congress to take action! Tell them to support or even co-sponsor this bill in Congress so that we can reduce our disgraceful waste of food, and instead feed millions in need. Tell them you are sick of seeing so much wasted food in the richest county in the world while so many go to bed hungry at night!
Find out more about the proposed Food Recovery Act at https://pingree.house.gov/foodwaste
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