Are You Concerned About Food Waste in America?
Are you concerned about food waste?
by Causes | 12.13.19
What’s the story?
- The bottom drawer of your fridge will confirm: 50% of all produce in the U.S. is thrown away.
- At the same time, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger, and 15 million households are food insecure (defined as problems getting food, a shortage of food in the house, or reduced food intake).
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture draws the obvious connection: “Wholesome food that could have helped feed families in need is sent to landfills.
- How should the U.S. combat hunger in America? Should the U.S. work to reduce food waste?
What are the numbers?
- Americans waste as much as 40% of their food, which is worth $160 to $218 billion a year.
- A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report finds that grocery stores and similar retailers are responsible for at least 10% of the wasted food.
What are federal agencies doing?
- In October 2018, the USDA, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) signed a joint agency agreement - under the Winning on Reducing Food Waste Initiative – “to better educate Americans on the impacts and importance of reducing food loss and waste.”
- In April 2019, the three groups entered into an agreement with ReFED to collaborate on efforts to reduce food waste in the United States.
- In October 2019, the three groups entered a partnership with the Food Waste Reduction Alliance (FWRA) to formalize industry education and outreach efforts with the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the Food Marketing Institute, and the National Restaurant Association.
What is the government doing?
- The Trump administration has announced plans to cut food-stamp benefits for about 700,000 Americans as a way to encourage more people to work.
- H.R. 2311 would prohibit schools from publicly identifying or otherwise stigmatizing children participating in the National School Lunch Program or the School Breakfast Program who either don’t have funds to pay for a meal or have an outstanding credit from a school food authority.
- The Trump administration is easing nutritional standards for school lunches that were put in place by the Obama administration.
- The House recently introduced the Opportunity to Address College Hunger Act while the Senate has the Closing the College Hunger Gap Act of 2019.
- There’s also the School Hunger Elimination Act of 2019.
What do you think?
How should (if at all) the U.S. combat hunger in America? Should the U.S. work to reduce food waste? Should it tighten access to food stamps? Take action and tell your reps, then share your thoughts below.
(Photo Credit: iStock / stockstudioX)
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