(KCPW News) The number of Utah residents going to bed hungry is on the rise, but so is the amount of food being wasted. Yesterday the Salt Lake City Food Policy Task Force released the Draft Community Food Assessment, outlining the city’s food system from production to waste, which shows that 40% of food purchased in the state is thrown away. Now, Bridgette Stuchly, the city’s Sustainability Outreach Manager, says more communication needs to happen to make sure food isn’t going to waste.
“Working with different food pantries and food banks to say if we connected you with a couple restaurants would you be able to pick up the food and bring it? You know making sure that the right people are talking to each other. Or, these restaurants consistently have an excess amount of food of this grocer has repeatedly has a ton of this so let’s get it in the hands of someone who needs it,” says Stuchly.
Hildegard’s Food Pantry in Downtown Salt Lake City has seen a dramatic increase in the number of people looking for help over the past year. Pantry Director, Lydia Herrera, says she’s had to turn people away because the donations aren’t keeping up with demand.
“We used to do like 1,200 (people) a month, now we do 3,000. So, it’s more than doubled. And, we see a lot of new folks coming to town, to this place because of their needs. Some it’s because of the economy, some it’s because they lost their jobs, some it’s because they don’t have the hours they used to have,” said Herrera.
Herrera says they are always looking for donations. Right now they need turkeys and healthy food items like milk, eggs and yogurt.
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