Is there a reason why people go hungry in this country?
Absolutely not! Yet it happens - every day,
In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This estimate, based on estimates from USDA's Economic Research Service of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010.
Let me put it in perspectives for you!
According to RTS (Recycle Track Systems, an environmentally-focused waste and recycling management company.
WHY DO WE WASTE SO MUCH FOOD?
Let’s listen to RTS,
With over 37 million people across America — including 11 million children — suffering from food insecurity, why do Americans waste so much of their food abundance? Getting to the bottom of what causes food waste in America is a challenge that traverses the complex landscapes of socioeconomic disparities, confusion, and ingrained beliefs, layered with human behaviors and habits.
Food spoilage, whether real or perceived, is one of the biggest reasons people throw out food. More than 80 percent of Americans discard perfectly good, consumable food simply because they misunderstand expiration labels. Labels like “sell by”, “use by”, “expires on”, “best before” or “best by” are confusing to people — and in an effort to not risk the potential of a foodborne illness, they’ll just toss it in the garbage.
Compared to the rest of the world, food in the United States is plentiful and less costly, and often this contributes to a general sentiment of not appreciating or valuing it the way other cultures around the globe do.
Americans are often impulsive in their food purchases, unrealistically assessing how much food is required, and as a result buying more food than they need or buying food they won’t actually eat.
Our take-out society doesn’t use food in its entirety the way our ancestors used to. We underutilize leftovers and toss food scraps that can still be consumed or composted.
Composting isn’t part of our food-prep routine, so we continue to add fuel to the fire in increasing the sheer size of US landfills.
Hunger in America
Millions of children and families living in America face hunger and food insecurity every day.
● Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 54 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020, including a potential 18 million children.
● According to the USDA's latest Household Food Insecurity in the United States report, more than 37 million people in the United States struggled with hunger in 2018.
● In 2018, 14.3 million American households were food insecure with limited or uncertain access to enough food.
● Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity. In 2018, more than 11 million children live in food-insecure households.
● Every community in the country is home to families who struggle with food insecurity including rural and suburban communities.
● Many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support.
How do we combat hunger in America one community at a time?
Stop the Waste!
● Monitor what you toss out most often—then buy smaller amounts
● Serve smaller portions
● Store leftovers properly for seconds
● Don't over-buy
● Give foods a second chance - don’t mis-interpret expiration dates
Examples of commonly used phrases:
● A "Best if Used By/Before" date indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date
● A "Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory
management. It is not a safety date
● A “Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula
● A “Freeze-By” date indicates when a product should be frozen to maintain peak quality. It is not a purchase or safety date
A food drive is where we stockpile and distribute foodstuffs to people who cannot afford food. The Lady Storm Foundation sponsored it’s first food drive on August 29th, 2020.
We served roughly 200 families and are poised to continue sponsoring more drives in the future.
Federal Food Programs
Some of the nutrition programs you may be familiar with are SNAP, WIC and the national school lunch program for adults and children. These are critical lifelines for families in need.
Lady Storm Foundation supports these important programs, though we focus our efforts on other federal programs that we know can make an enormous difference for hungry kids and adults, such as the school breakfast program , the national summer meals program and the afterschool meals program as, well as meals on wheels , and seniors first .