Recent data from the USDA indicates that about 264 million pounds of excess, edible, and nutritious food is thrown away in all sectors of the food industry each and every day; enough to provide nearly 1.5 tons of food during the year to every man, woman, and child who is hungry in the United States.
Waste Not Want Not’s mission is to prevent that kind of waste here on Florida’s First Coast. We rescue food from businesses willing to donate and we distribute that food to charities helping people struggling to put food on the table.
Last year, we rescued over 2,100,000 pounds of bread, bakery items, produce, dairy and prepared foods. Using the formula that every 1.33 pounds of rescued food is considered an equivalent meal, Waste Not Want Not distributed the equivalent of 1,579,000 meals through our recipient agencies, saving them over $4 million dollars.
The partnership that Waste Not Want Not has with our food donors is what allows our food rescue program to work. It is their generosity and commitment to keeping wholesome food from going to waste that leads them to take that extra step of setting the food aside for our volunteers to collect. These donors are protected from liability by both federal and state laws.
This Wall Street Journal article briefly describes the story of discarded food in America.