CHICAGO, April 21, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As Feeding America celebrates Earth Day 2016 on April 22 this year, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization is relying on a new report and recent legislation to help increase food recovery efforts.
Feeding America not only provides food and groceries to every community in the nation, it also plays a significant role in protecting the environment by rescuing more than 2.6 billion pounds of food annually from the food industry, agricultural producers, and food wholesalers and retailers.
"Keeping safe, nutrient-rich food from going to waste – from ending up in landfills – is one of our major priorities," said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. "The food we rescue helps feed the 46 million people who turn to us for food assistance each year. By keeping food that is safe for consumption out of landfills we also help our environment – as decomposing food often produces methane gas, a significant threat to our environment."
Feeding America was an advising member to the ReFED Report, which was released this past March. It provides a roadmap for food rescue efforts. The report takes a look at the initiatives necessary for Feeding America to capture additional quantities of safe and nutritious food that currently ends up in landfills, or is otherwise discarded. More than 70 billion pounds of food goes to waste in our nation each year.
One of the key ideas highlighted in the report is the concept of donation-matching software, an initiative in which Feeding America is investing.
Feeding America's network of food banks have been rescuing food from all sectors of the food industry for more than 35 years, beginning with the creation of the first food bank in Phoenix.
Food rescue work has evolved from its beginnings, and technology will play a powerful role in that evolution by matching available food to a charity to safely redirect that food to someone in need. Feeding America is launching Meal Connect later this year, as an online platform to help food donors connect directly with food pantries and meal programs served by Feeding America food banks.
"We will rescue more than 1 billion pounds of fresh produce and more than 1 billion pounds of perishable food from retailers this year, but there is more work to be done. More than 70 billion pounds of food go to waste in this country each year. We will continue our efforts to make sure that food that is safe for consumption is made available to people living at risk of hunger," said Aviv.
"Our investments in new technology combined with the passage of expanded federal food donation tax deductions have the potential to add millions of new meals to those struggling with hunger each year. The Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes (PATH) Act enables all donors, large and small, to take the food donation tax deduction when donating food to a 501c3 charity and ensures that it no longer costs donors more to donate food than it does to landfill it."
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
SOURCE Feeding America