Thank you for bringing attention to the problem of food waste in your article on June 12, "Lunch and the landfill." I wanted to bring your attention to another community resource not fully explained in your article.
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle began in 1989 as a grassroots response to food waste at the local retail and wholesale level. Back then, founders Jill Staton Bullard and Maxine Solomon salvaged breakfast sandwiches from restaurants.
In 2012, IFFS recovered more than 7.1 million pounds of food from 365 food donors, including grocery stores, food distributors and North Carolina's State Farmers Market. This food is quickly distributed to agencies in the greater Triangle on refrigerated trucks, or cooked up in our commercial kitchen by participants in our Culinary Job Training Program for later distribution. Almost half a million pounds of fresh produce came from local farmers who donated excess crops for our gleaning volunteers to harvest.
Yes, hunger is fixable if we redistribute the food that is wasted. But that is not enough. We must also all work together as a community to create access to fresh, healthy food in every low-income neighborhood and create opportunities for everyone to earn income.
While we must feed people in times of emergency, we need to teach people healthy nutrition and job skills, even how to grow their own food, so they can be empowered to feed themselves and their families. I invite everyone to join us in this effort!
Director of Communications
Inter-Faith Food Shuttle