Target: Speaker of the House Paul Ryan
Goal: Provide relief to millions of hungry Americans by ending the trend of wasting 40 percent of food in the home.
People in nearly seven million U.S. households will not get enough to eat today according to a report from the National Commission on Hunger. Compounding the issue is the fact that American citizens throw away about 40 percent of their food. Fortunately, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has a solution: H.R. 4184, otherwise known as the Food Recovery Act. Passage of this bill would represent a giant step toward ending hunger in America.
H.R. 4184 would institute sweeping changes to four major levels of food waste: consumer, farm, retail, and institutional. One of the act’s primary targets is the issue of expiration dates. Presently, there is no regulation on expiration dates, meaning that manufacturers can label their food as expired when in fact it is still edible. This leads to consumers disposing of perfectly good food. To solve this problem, H.R. 4148 demands that expiration dates must use the phrase “best if used by” and clarify that the date listed is only a suggestion. According to Pingree, the U.S. could feed an additional 25 million people with only a 15 percent reduction in food waste.
In addition to curbing hunger, reduced food waste can also have positive impacts on the environment. When announcing the bill, Pingree said, “If food waste was a country, it would be the third largest producer of greenhouse gas emissions in the world.” By keeping more food waste out of landfills, citizens can help dramatically diminish the nation’s carbon footprint. Among the many other benefits of H.R. 4184 are tax deductions for farmers who serve “food insecure” families, enhanced funding for grant programs that teach students about healthy eating, and the implementation of a system that requires surplus food donations to food banks.
Food waste is a massive problem in the United States, but it is not an unsolvable one. The means to help the hungry are attainable, and the successful passing of the Food Recovery Act would be a major victory for the movement. Sign the petition below and show your support for this critical piece of legislation.
Dear Speaker Ryan,
Rep. Chellie Pingree recently introduced H.R. 4184, also known as the Food Recovery Act. The bill seeks to reduce food waste, which is an enormous problem in the United States. Seven million households will go hungry tonight, while 40 percent of America’s food will be thrown out. These figures are unacceptable, and this bill must be passed if America is to ever end hunger.
The bill would also have a positive effect on our environment. Food waste is a notorious source of greenhouse gasses, and H.R. 4184 would eliminate the most wasteful practices by implementing a revamped set of guidelines for expiration labels. Among the many other benefits of H.R. 4184 are tax deductions for farmers who serve “food insecure” families, enhanced funding for grant programs that teach students about healthy eating, and the implementation of a system that requires surplus food donations to food banks. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that this bill passes through the House of Representatives.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Love Food Hate Waste NZ