Stop Perfectly Good Food from Going to Waste!

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Sponsor: The Hunger Site

Every year food service providers throw away millions of pounds of excess usable food. Tell them to give it to the hungry!

When supermarkets and eateries find themselves with extra food that can't be sold, they usually just toss it into the dumpster out back. With world hunger at an all-time high, the food industry should be more mindful of their waste and donate their usable food to homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and other non-profits that help feed the hungry.

The EPA estimates that in 2018 about 63 million tons of edible food were wasted in the United States1.

While this perfectly good food is being thrown away, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that 10.5 percent of American households - about 13.7 million households - have difficulty providing enough food for all their members due to a lack of resources at some time during the year2.

In many cases, the food tossed into our nation's landfills is wholesome, edible food, which could be better put to use by feeding hundreds of thousands of hungry people.

The EPA currently makes it possible for large manufacturers, supermarket chains, wholesalers, farmers, restaurants, caterers, hotels, and other food establishments to distribute their perishable and prepared foods to hungry people without the risk of liability, under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act. There are also many potential tax benefits for companies that donate food3.

These policies have been in place for years, and may not be enough to motivate major producers. What can make a difference is the support of the Food Industry Association, the collective advocate for an industry that touches the lives of over 100 million households in the United States4.

Sign the petition below asking the Chairman of the Food Industry Association to create incentives for America's food service providers to donate their extra food to the 30 million Americans who go hungry every day.

More on this issue:

  1. United States Environmental Protection Agency (10 November 2020), "Food: Material-Specific Data."
  2. Alisha Coleman-Jensen, Matthew P. Rabbitt, Christian A. Gregory, Anita Singh, The United States Department of Agriculture (2020 September), "Household Food Security in the United States in 2019."
  3. United States Environmental Protection Agency (15 January 2021), "Reduce Wasted Food By Feeding Hungry People."
  4. The Food Industry Association (2021), "Who We Are."
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The Petition:

Dear Chairman of the Food Industry Association,

With hunger in the world today at an all-time high, I find it appalling that restaurants and supermarkets are responsible for millions of pounds of untouched food products per year. A significant portion of this food is still usable and fit to be consumed, yet it finds its way into dumpsters instead of hungry mouths.

This perfectly nutritious food is simply dumped into garbage cans when it could be used to feed people who live in constant worry about where their next meal will come from. This is especially disheartening when you consider all of the children who are suffering from hunger.

The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act removes all liability from food producers who donate their food to the hungry, but support from the Food Industry Association could go much further in filling empty stomachs.

As Chairman of the Food Industry Association, I ask that you create incentives for these food service providers to donate their excess food to homeless shelters and soup kitchens. These organizations always welcome donations, and could stand to benefit greatly if restaurants and markets gave even just a small amount of their leftover food.

Please use your influence to help eliminate America's hunger problem. Small steps can mean huge accomplishments.


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