Grocery Rescue Program: Saving millions of pounds of food from going in the landfill every year

Grocery Rescue Program: Saving millions of pounds of food from going in the landfill every year

Americans waste 150,000 tons of waste of food each day.

– The Guardian

It’s no big shocker that food waste is a major issue. The USDA estimates that in the United States, food waste is between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This estimate, based on estimates from USDA’s Economic Research Service.

The saddest part is that most of the food being tossed is not even bad. Much of this food is tossed due to our obsession with having an abundance of choices in grocery stores, refusing foods with small impurities, and a mandatory yet highly confusing date labeling system.

Since 20016 Montana Food Bank Network has been connecting this waste issue with the fact that 1 in 9 Montanans are struggling to put enough food on the table with the Grocery Rescue Program.

MFBN’s Grocery Rescue Program empowers our Network partners across the state to safely rescue food not suitable for sale in retail grocery stores, but is still perfectly edible. We currently have 39 network partners participating in the program, who diligently work to procure food donations for their organizations.

In 2018, our network partners rescued nearly 8 million pounds of food, including produce, dairy, meat, baked goods, and even non-food items like hygiene products, from being discarded in the landfill. That valuable food was then distributed in 32 different communities to families and individuals in Montana.

Every year we aim to increase our partnerships around the state, connections with local food manufacturers, and capacity of the program. This year, through partnership with Feeding America and Walmart, our Network was awarded $37,000 in funds, the most ever received through this grant!

19 different agencies were awarded funding to help with purchases to increase the capacity of the Grocery Rescue Program.  Items purchased included vital equipment to enhance participation in the Grocery Rescue Program like commercial refrigerators, freezers, steamers, pallet jacks, flat top grills, and even vehicle maintenance.

Since 2006, in Montana, the Grocery Rescue Program has nearly 54 million pounds of food from being thrown into the landfill

We could not be more thankful for the local businesses who support this program, help reduce the waste, and help fill the shelves our of Network Partners across the state.

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