According to the USDA, in 2010, 133 billion pounds of food, or 31%, of the available consumer food supply went uneaten. (USDA, Economic Research Service, 2014) There are human, environmental and economic cost to all of this food waste, and safely connecting edible food with neighbors who cannot afford it is the most efficient solution. Every day your Foodbank directs rescued food to families, children and seniors who can’t afford enough of the right food.
In 2012, the Vermont Legislature unanimously passed the Universal Recycling Law (Act 148), which effectively bans disposal of three major types of waste materials commonly found in Vermonter’s trash bins:
- Blue bin recyclables
- Leaf and yard debris
- Food Scraps
The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation asked: What if we could feed Vermonters who are hungry with surplus fresh foods from retailers and restaurants that can’t be used, and help those businesses save money in the process? When food is about to spoil, what if we thought about creating a rich soil amendment for gardeners, supporting local egg production, or better yet…powering clean, renewable energy machines on Vermont dairy farms? This is the future of uneaten good food and the kitchen scraps that get left behind. If everyone in Vermont composted or had food waste collected, Vermont can achieve a sixty percent recycling rate—and support our local food system and neighbors who are struggling.
In the most recent issue of the Vermont Foodbank’s Newsletter, Kernels, read about the Foodbank’s work to implement act 148, ensure that food isn’t wasted and that Vermonters struggling with hunger are well fed.