Trucks and technology can be a valuable tool in the fight against food insecurity

Detroit — At the Sharing Table in Detroit, Michigan, food is distributed to all who need it.

“You can see who’s hungry, you can see it in their eyes,” said Bonnie Askew, a regular attendee.

“Times are tough,” she adds. “People don’t have a decent meal.”

Some of the food at the sharing table comes from Chad Techner, with Metro Food Rescue. Techner drives a truck around Detroit to collect food that is about to be thrown away and deliver it to local food banks – part of the more than 33 million Americans without stable food at home, according to the department. American Agriculture.

“It’s unconscionable to me that, for example, we waste 40% of the food in this country,” Techner said. “Well, one in four kids don’t have enough food to eat. I have four young kids. That’s a statistic that really brings me home.”

Techner’s team filled a truck at Bimbo Bakeries USA, maker of Thomas’ English muffins, with food just past the best buy date.

“If we weren’t taking it to a food bank, we would have to throw it away so it was completely wasted,” said Matt Zuidema of Bimbo Bakeries.

Each year, nearly 120 billion pounds of food go unconsumed in the United States, worth about $408 billion, according to figures from the nonprofit group Feeding America.

“There’s more than enough for everyone to eat,” Techner said. “We just don’t get him to the right place at the right time.”

But technology is helping to reduce waste, providing people with affordable meals. Apps like Too Good To Go allow users to buy a bag of items from restaurants and stores at a great discount, before it gets thrown away.

“There’s a bit of randomness involved,” said Kevin Suggs, 28, a resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant in Brooklyn. “But when you’re paying $3, $4, or $5 per pickup, it’s always, you know, net (return on investment).”

In Detroit, Askew said Americans needed to understand there was a need.

“If you don’t see it, hunger, go get it,” Askew said. “It’s over there. Donate your leftovers. Buy a few more boxes of this or that. Find a pantry and donate.”


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