I spent yesterday morning helping out at Food Lifeline in Shoreline. It is a fantastic organization that collects donations, returns that can’t be resold, and surplus that would go to waste and redirects it all to food banks, shelters, and other programs all over the state. Since 2009, there has been a 20-40% rise in the number of people in need is Washington State and Food Lifeline’s 9500 volunteers a year help distribute 39 million pounds a food to them. Food Lifeline is constantly looking for new ways to prevent food waste. The lead, Ben, told us that last year they discovered a local farm that was turning over all of their imperfect potatoes back into the soil at a rate of 1 million pounds a year. Now those potatoes go to Food Lifeline instead. Unfortunately, that kind of waste is nothing new. Forty percent of the food grown or made in the U.S. is thrown away. Isn’t that crazy?
In just our morning session, we processed 18,015 pounds of food, diapers, and other items, most of which were returns from Costco. Kids can volunteer too! The group of kids and teens yesterday helped repackage 1,520 pounds of cake mix. It was a great place to start the weekend. If you’re so inclined, every $1 donated to Food Lifeline equals 5 meals for someone in need.