How to make the best out of our food and stop food waste
According to Feeding America, about 119 billion pounds of food in America is wasted per year, nearly 40% of all food across the nation.
In a study titled “2022’s States that Waste the Most Food,” our very own state is at the top of the list. Arizona throws away about $9.5 billion worth of food each year.
What are ways to combat this? How can we reduce food waste?
The Food Recovery Hierarchy model suggested by the USDA starts with source reduction, or reducing the surplus of food generated, then goes to feeding the hungry, followed by feeding animals, composting, and the final resort is sending the food to the landfill.
What is a better way to make use of leftover food? Donating to the food bank is a great idea. But how do we receive our food for distribution here at the food bank?
Here at the Community Food Bank, 62,181,335 pounds of food and 41,698,316 pounds of produce were distributed across the five counties we serve in Southern Arizona last year.
The food we distribute comes from several sources across Southern Arizona. These food donations can come from people, groups or businesses who organize a food drive, local farmers who donate their locally grown produce, and big or small businesses/corporations who donate food to the food bank.
Food received from federal programs
Food provided for distribution at the food bank also comes from federally funded programs such as The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP) and the Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP) for our neighbors 60 years and above.
TEFAP is available for anyone who may need extra food for the month. This is a once-monthly visit that provides non-perishable pantry staples.
CSFP is available for low-income seniors over the age of 60. This is a once-monthly visit that provides a variety of foods such as cereal, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, and more.
To learn more about where you can donate food and stop food waste, please visit https://www.communityfoodbank.org/how-we-help/food-drop-off-locations/.