“Throwing away food is like stealing from the tables of those who are poor and hungry.” Pope Francis
Ouch! That comment hits home every time leftovers are scraped into a garbage can.
The poor and hungry are found around the world in more locations than you can count. They include migrants in refugee camps fleeing conflict zones or gang violence, families in countries where drought and floods, hurricanes and cyclones have wiped out crops, young men who cannot find jobs to provide for their children, and the invisible homeless in your own town or city. Countless others are one medical bill or one missed paycheck away from similar circumstances.
What the Pope is telling you is that no matter where you live in the world, while you are throwing good food away there are other people whose plates are empty.
In parts 1 and 2 of this series we talked about food waste in general and how easy it is to not be aware of those who are hungry, and we surfaced the not-very-well-known impact of wasted food on climate change. We also asked two critical questions: “How many people would your garbage can feed?” and “What can you do to reduce food waste?”
If you have not already done so, we encourage you to ask yourself those questions and challenge your friends and family to join you in that endeavor. Hosting a potluck is a good place to start discussions about meal planning, food sharing through local programs and waste disposal options like composting and commercial digesters. We are all in this together and we invite you to share your ideas and experiences in the comment section of this article as well as elsewhere.
Make no mistake about it. Food waste is a global problem. We cannot solve it alone, but together we can make a huge difference.
Typically, Americans waste about 40% of the food that they buy, which amounts to an average of $1,800 per family.
How can you reduce food waste in your family?
Blessings on your efforts to feed the hungry with your savings,