Restaurants, groceries, households-if you’ve ever spent time dumpster diving the Trader Joe’s in Pittsburgh, then you know just how crazy food waste in the U.S. can be.

foodnews 09.03.2015 foodwaste

Our country throws away 40 percent of its food, routing $165 billion of food to landfills each year. An individual American throws away an average of 20 pounds of food a month, according to a 2012 report by the Natural Resources Defense Council.

At the same time, in 2013, 49.1 million people lived in food-insecure households, according to USDA figures. At some point during 2014, one out of four Americans relied on some sort of federal government food assistance program. The number of Americans turning to these programs has increased since the 2008 financial crisis, yet, since the start of the recession, funds for these programs have repeatedly been cut, and congressional Republicans are pushing for further cuts this year.

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