Ithaca-based Food Rescue Organization Applauds New Federal Initiative for Reducing Food Waste


Local Group Has Redistributed Tons of Food to the Hungry over Decades

ITHACA, NY— Food waste is an enormous problem, costing millions and harming the environment. This week the Obama administration announced the first ever national goal for reducing food waste, targeting a 50% reduction by 2030.

When you look at the oil that’s used in producing food that’s wasted, it’s 70 times the amount of oil that we lost in the Deepwater Horizon disaster,” [Agriculture Secretary Tom] Vilsack says,” according to a National Public Radio story on Sept. 16.

Thanks to the vision and dedication of Sara Pines, Ithaca has been keeping tons of food out of the landfill and feeding the hungry since 1988 when she founded Friendship Donations Network (FDN). Friendship Donations Network is a local non-profit organization that rescues fresh, nutritious food that would otherwise be thrown away at area stores and farms, on average 1,000 pounds of food daily. A network of volunteers redistributes the food to pantries, Loaves and Fishes, and community programs serving more than 2,000 people weekly. Each year FDN diverts over 500,000 lbs. of good food from local landfills and compost heaps.

Despite these efforts there is a lot of good food that is being thrown away everyday by local businesses and residents. “We are excited about this new federal initiative and we expect that it will enable to us to have an even greater impact on reducing food waste locally,” says FDN program coordinator, Meaghan Sheehan Rosen. FDN plans to use the federal initiative as a way to reach new potential food donors, and to educate the community about the resources available to prevent good food from being wasted.

Read the NPR story online:

“It’s Time To Get Serious About Reducing Food Waste, Feds Say”