Not long ago, my wife and I attended a reception for the Hoosier Auto Show sponsored by the Circle City Corvairs. Corvair owners, (it’s a car from the sixties) drove from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio to show their cars. It was a catered event. The previous year they ran out of food. This year, there was plenty of food. The reality was, there was too much food. There were four unopened containers of pasta and bread. I sent a tweet asking who could use the food, and a friend suggested the Wheeler Mission. So, my wife and I left the reception to deliver the food. As we delivered the food I asked myself how much food do I waste?

The awards banquet was the following night. Jonathan Byrds had been hired to cater the dinner. The food was excellent, and the employee setting up the service was great. But there was a lot of food left over, unopened containers of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. I asked the service person what happened to the food. He told me it was all carefully packed, put in a cooler at Jonathan Byrd’s, and donated to Second Helpings. This is as good of an example of corporate responsibility, community involvement, and caring from a business as you will find. It made my night. It’s a fine example for us all.

Americans Waste About One Pound of Food Every Day

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) “In the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply.  “… of 31 percent food loss at the retail and consumer levels, corresponded to approximately 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010. This amount of waste has far-reaching impacts on food security, resource conservation, and climate change.” — How much food we waste and why it matters

Waste not want not

The Jonathan Byrd service person shared a story with me. His grandmother had lived in Europe before World War One when much of Europe was in a depression. After World War One she waited in breadlines with her family. As an adult, she moved to America and experienced the great depression. She had learned the hard way. She didn’t let much go to waste. They had some land on Long Island where they planted a large garden, raised livestock, and dogs. What the family didn’t consume was feed to the hogs, the dogs, or both. Like he said, not much was wasted, and the conservation lessons were not wasted on him. My new friend wondered aloud how much we could all learn from his grandmother today. I don’t have to wonder. We could all learn much from his grandmother.

Every night Children go to bed hungry

“In Indiana, 887,070 people are struggling with hunger – and of them 273,380 are children.” – Feeding America

“Each year, millions of Americans are impacted by hunger and food insecurity. Experiencing food insecurity at a young age can lead to lasting health concerns. Especially if families facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food or on medical care. When communities have access to healthy, well-balanced diets, everyone benefits.” — 11 facts about hunger

“What would you do if you saw a hungry child? Buy the child a meal, seek out the parents and offer your help, look for an organization to direct the family to? So, here’s my point – you’d do something, wouldn’t you because how could you not? Therefore, the question becomes do you have to see the child or is just knowing that hungry children exist enough for you to take action? I ask because this question hit me like a ton of bricks when I asked myself. I know there are hungry children, but am I doing enough to help? Not only are there hungry children, and adults, but there are hungry kids in your community wherever you live. Take Indianapolis as an example.

Do the Math

“The average cost of a weeks’ worth of food for a family of four is more than $200.” — Loaves and Fishes. A member of the working poor making minimum wage grosses $290 per week at 40 hours. After taxes that’s about $230 net. So, even with two working adults, that’s only $460 take-home per week. After buying food $250-260 remains. The average two-bedroom apartment in Indianapolis rents for $932–Rent Jungle, which averages $215 per week. We’re down to $35-45 remaining per week. What about clothing, school lunches, health care, day care, personal hygiene products, utilities, laundry, transportation …” — If You Saw a Hungry Child What Would You Do?

“One in five families, with children, surveyed in Indianapolis, struggle to afford enough food to feed their young. And many, If not most, are hardworking Hoosiers trying their best. Just take one look at the previous paragraph. The numbers don’t add up. Something has to give and too often what gives is food. Oh sure, people can live missing a meal here and there. As obsessed as this nation is with weight we might rationalize missing a meal as a good thing. But consider this. If it were your kids what would you give up? Would it be your children’s dinner?” — Help Us Stamp Out Hunger

Stop Wasting Start Helping

Are you ready to be part of the solution? Here are two ways to help in the greater Indianapolis Area. Every piece of food we save could feed the hungry. It could reduce toxic landfill, and more. Even the smallest effort makes an impact.

Second Helpings – Take Action

Wheeler Mission Ways to Give

If you’re not in Indy here’s a food bank locator good for your area. How can you help save food?

Food Bank Locator

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Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash