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Waste Less, Feed More: A Game-Changing Approach to Fighting Hunger

A rapidly-growing organization finds a solution to hunger not by growing more food, but in finding a way to reduce food waste.


Over 50 million people in the United States experience prolonged periods of hunger in a year. That is 1 in 6 of the U.S. population, including more than 1 in 5 children (according to Feeding America). The tragedy is that hunger in America is not a result of a food supply shortage, but limited access to the plentiful food that exists. 


Reducing the amount of wasted food, says Ben Simon, Founder of the Food Recovery Network, is central to solving the problem of hunger.  America wastes 40% of its edible food supply, and the scope of edible food that is wasted is, he says, not just millions of pounds, but billions of pounds.


Recycling edible food is the key to fighting waste. The Food Recovery Network is a non-profit that takes leftover, unconsumed food from college campuses, dining halls and restaurants, and donates it to hungry families. This Network is promoting a cultural and industry-wide shift in the way food is disposed of in this country.     


The results so far: the Network has donated over 320,000 pounds of food since 2011.


To expand the number of establishments contributing this cause, the Food Recovery Network has launched a new certification program called “Food Recovery Certified” that awards businesses who are doing the right thing by donating their extra food into their community. For a restaurant or food business to become Food Recovery Certified, a company must donate its left over food at least once a month (as confirmed by local non-profits). A business who becomes Food Recovery Certified receives a window sticker with the organization's logo. This window sticker indicates to the public that this business donates their leftover food to their community.  


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