Food waste is becoming an increasingly important issue. The American Farm Bureau has announced the launch of “No Taste for Waste,” a campaign to increase consumer awareness around food waste. It is an important issue to focus on because Boulder County reports 40% of food is wasted and 12.8% of Boulder County residents are food insecure.
KGNU’s Nicole Cheng sat down with Lindsey Loberg, the Program Director of Boulder Food Rescue, to talk about how they are improving their programs for 2018 to address food insecurity and food waste. Boulder Food Rescue (BFR) is a non-profit organization that takes donated food from grocery stores that would otherwise be thrown away, and give it to food insecure communities. The organization has conducted a Food Waste Audit, which finds that there is a knowledge gap between what managers believe is wasted and the people who actually throw away the food. They recommend that training should happen at every level.
BFR continues to work to include communities who are experiencing food insecurity. The organization has launched a survey and is starting to incorporate the feedback that they get from participants. Loberg says that it is important to include the community in any problem solving.
“We believe people living in a community, know best… how to redistribute food in their community; People who are experiencing food insecurity know the best ways to address food insecurity.”
One way that they are incorporating feedback is their new program fresh food connect. They go to people’s homes to pick up the fresh produce they are growing and redistribute it. Loberg says that there are several barriers to food security, including economic barriers, accessibility barriers as well as shame and stigma that go along with being food insecure.
“There is the barrier of shame and stigma that people don’t normally think about. The programs at the no cost grocery program are addressing the barrier of shame and stigma because we bring food to communities that are low income and have already done paperwork to ‘prove poverty.’ That is a big barrier for people while accessing food .”
Boulder Food Rescue is co-hosting the Food Forward Summit happening on April 28th at Columbine Elementary in Denver from 10 am to 4pm. This year’s summit focuses on gentrification and how this can affect food security and will feature discussions on race and class equity and how the community is working to address the challenges that face them.