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Environment & Energy

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Sat Nov 25, 2023, 02:55 PM Nov 2023

AP: Tackling climate change and alleviating hunger: States recycle and donate food headed to landfills [View all]

Last edited Sat Nov 25, 2023, 03:29 PM - Edit history (1)

Tackling climate change and alleviating hunger: States recycle and donate food headed to landfills
Updated 12:11 AM EST, November 25, 2023

ELMSFORD, N.Y. (AP) — When Sean Rafferty got his start in the grocery business, anything that wasn’t sold got tossed out.

But on a recent day, Rafferty, the store manager for ShopRite of Elmsford-Greenburgh in New York, was preparing boxes of bread, donuts, fresh produce and dairy products to be picked up by a food bank. It’s part of a statewide program requiring larger businesses to donate edible food and, if they can, recycle remaining food scraps.

“Years ago, everything went in the garbage ... to the landfills, the compactors or wherever it was,” said Rafferty, who has 40 years in the industry. “Now, over the years, so many programs have developed where we’re able to donate all this food ... where we’re helping people with food insecurities.”

New York is among a growing number of states targeting food waste over concerns it is taking up diminishing landfill space and contributing to global warming as meat, vegetables and dairy release the greenhouse gas methane after being dumped in a landfill. Rescuing unwanted fruits and vegetables, eggs, cereals and other food also helps to feed hungry families.

It’s great that states are deciding to combat climate change, but, why weren’t the hungry people sufficient in the past?
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