Last year, Food Lifeline’s Grocery Rescue program recovered more than 17 million pounds of healthy and nutritious food that would otherwise go to waste; that was enough food to create more than 14 million meals for our hungry neighbors in Western Washington.
While Grocery Rescue is a big win for those that are hungry, it also benefits everyone else in ways you might not immediately come to mind. Here’s a look at two things that Grocery Rescue does for the community every day:
- When grocery stores donate their food, it keeps one of our most valuable resources out of the landfill. Every year, our country disposes of 40% of the food we produce. In numbers, that’s 34.7 million tons, every year! As if that weren’t bad enough, when this food decomposes in the landfill, it creates large volumes of Methane gas. While we always talk about the negative impact of carbon dioxide on our atmosphere, methane is far more dangerous and toxic. 22 times more dangerous and toxic, to be exact. Methane traps more than 100 times more heat in the atmosphere than the same volume of carbon dioxide over a period of five years!
- When stores donate to Grocery Rescue, it also helps keep their costs down. Today, Grocery Rescue has 239 donor sites. Each of these retailers spends an average of $222.59 to dispose of a single ton of food. With nearly 18 million pounds of food rescued from these retailers last year, that’s a savings of $1,968,585.96! Every cost a grocery store incurs, has to be calculated when setting prices. With a highly competitive marketplace, this savings for retailers often means savings for you. Not bad.
So when your local grocery store joins the Grocery Rescue program, they help feed hungry neighbors, protect the environment, and even save you little money along the way.