Letter to the Editor

BY DI READERS | JUNE 22, 2015 5:00 AM

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No need to waste food, à la the French

The “French cuisine and its waste” column, by Christian Fischer (June 16, DI) makes an excellent point about the problem of food waste and ways our community can and should help. According to the National Resources Defense Council, Americans throw away 40 percent of the food supply every year. At the same time, more than 49 million Americans were food-insecure in 2013, including more than 8 million children, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

Fortunately there are food-rescue organizations all over the country that try to be part of the solution, including Table to Table in Iowa City. Its mission is “to keep wholesome, edible food from going to waste by collecting it from donors and distributing to those in need through agencies that serve the hungry, homeless, and at-risk populations.”

Since 1996, it has distributed more than 12 million pounds of food (10 million meals) and is currently collecting an average of 25,000 pounds every week from grocers, restaurants, institutional, and warehouse sources.

Table to Table is as much about relationships and community as it is about the food it rescues; more than 100 volunteers work together with supermarket and restaurant employees along with agency staff to get perfectly edible food where it should be — feeding hungry people, not landfills. Table to Table is the “middleman” mentioned in Fischer’s column, but the system would not work without the energy and support of the 40 donation sites and 34 agency sites that receive those donations, including the Crisis Center Food Bank.

Table to Table is in the process of adding two new routes with two new partner grocery stores, and it always needs volunteers. If interested in volunteering or getting more information, check out its website at www.table2table.org and its Facebook page.

Libby McDermott, Table to Table volunteer

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