Forty Percent of Food in the US Goes to Waste

Posted by Philabundance Digital Media on September 12th, 2017

(And 1 in 8 Americans go hungry)

We at Philabundance are confronted daily by the upsetting paradox of an abundance of food waste, while at the same time, there is an abundance of hungry people across our community and the country. We and our committed volunteers glean at farms, rescue food from retail stores and the Philadelphia Wholesale Produce Market because we can’t bear to see perfectly good food rotting in the fields or being thrown away. Instead, we save this food to provide to those in need to help stave off hunger and diet-related diseases because they don’t have enough wholesome food. Last year, 17 of the 24 million pounds of food we distributed to our neighbors in need was food that would otherwise have been wasted — and for no good reason!

As much as we are doing to rescue food in our communities, there is so much more that can be done. New legislation, regulations and clarifications of existing laws could go a long way towards increasing food donations and reducing unnecessary waste. For this reason, we commissioned the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic to create a report on this topic; “Moving Food Waste Forward: Policy Recommendations for Next Steps in Pennsylvania”. Out of this, came Philabundance’s top 7 priorities.

We hope that this report and accompanying materials will serve as educational resources and conversation-starters. While we work on this legislation, there are so many ways you can take action to fight food waste and food insecurity – from donating food in your cupboards to volunteering to glean at farms, to recovering produce with us, to advocating for sensible policy, such as simplified food quality and safety labels and incentives that encourage businesses to not send food to landfills.

If you are interested in joining our efforts to reduce food waste and fight for better food policies, please email

Kait Bowdler & Emma Kornetsky
Sustainability / Government Affairs

PA Food Waste Policy – Full Report
PA Food Waste Policy – Philabundance Top 7

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