Feeding America leads the nation in recovering food from farmers, the food industry and retailers. Last year the hunger-relief organization rescued 2.2 billion pounds of food that would have otherwise gone into landfills or been plowed under, despite being perfectly edible.
“As we recognize Earth Day this year on April 22, we are pleased to acknowledge the important role Feeding America plays in food rescue and celebrate the fact this food goes where it is needed most—to low-income Americans who are living at risk of hunger. We distribute nearly 4 billion pounds of food and groceries free-of-charge to 46 million people each year through 60,000 food and meal programs served by Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks,” said Bob Aiken, CEO of Feeding America.
To make significant progress in reducing food waste, Feeding America urges Congress to pass HR 644, the “America Gives More Act,” which will expand the food-donation tax deduction and help increase the amount of nutritious food donated to food banks.
“Working with industry partners, we do everything within our means to rescue as much food as possible. We would have even more food to offer if the ‘America Gives More Act’ was in place. Because of the uncertainty surrounding the current food-donation tax deduction, some potential donors destroy or dump food, or use it as animal feed, instead of giving it to their local food bank,” said Aiken. “This is a waste of the nutrient value of the food, as well as the environmental resources invested in its production.”
Keeping food out of landfills is a sustainable way to reduce waste, while providing additional meals to people in need. Enactment of this legislation could give Feeding America the opportunity to distribute an additional 100 million meals annually.
“Feeding America is grateful for the significant amount of food we now receive from our donors and the federal government, but improving the food donation deduction is a common-sense policy that helps feed people and protects the environment.
“As our network works on additional ways to locate nutritious food, we are working on pilot programs to identify new donation opportunities. Unfortunately many cannot be implemented until current tax law is changed. Earth Day is the perfect day to ask the Senate to keep food out of landfills and to get it to people in need by voting for the ‘America Gives More Act,’” Aiken said.