Rotary First Harvest | Food Waste and Hunger

Food Waste and Hunger

Two important and related facts:

1.  The United States Department of Agriculture & National Resource Defense Council estimate that nearly half the food grown and produced in the US goes to waste.

2.  Food insecurity in our communities continues to be very high.  More than 50 million Americans rely on help from their local food banks to fill the gaps near the end of the month when their paychecks and food benefits run out.

How these facts work together is complicated: Farmers and others in the food industry hate to see the food they’ve worked so hard to produce go to waste. Food banks want to provide the healthiest food possible for the men, women and especially children that they are helping.

Below are links to information related to food waste and hunger.  If you have information that should be included, please let us know!


Learn about food waste

Rotary Down Under magazine recently featured a number of food waste solutions in an in-depth article. Read the full article here.
According to a recent USDA study, 141 trillion calories go to waste daily.  Read the NPR Salt article here.
The National Resource Defense Council’s updated “Wasted” report provides details of how food waste impacts our society and our environment

Modern Farmer recently focused on food waste, its causes and potential solutions.  Read the article

Food Shift is dedicated to reducing waste increasing access to food for those in need.  Visit their site to learn more.


“Even the most sustainably farmed food does us no good if the food is never eaten.”  Learn more about NRDC’s studies.

We can all waste food in our own homes when  “sell by”, “use by” and “best by” dates all tell us something different.  This report looks into the confusion.

Learn about hunger in Washington
_MG_1273“The new normal for food banks and hunger relief agencies in Whatcom County is that we continue to see record setting numbers of new individuals and families accessing services -more regularly and for longer periods of time.”  – Mike Cohen, Executive Director, Bellingham Food Bank from “Hungry in Washington”

oec_beneficiaries_042“Every day in western Washington, people turn to the food safety net to get the meals they need.”  Food Lifeline Missing Meals Report 2015