Trucks and technology can be valuable tools in fighting food insecurity

Detroit — A sharing table in Detroit, Michigan distributes food to those in need.

“You can tell if someone is hungry by looking into their eyes,” said regular Bonnie Askew.

“It’s hard right now,” she added. “People are not eating properly.”

Some of the sharing table food is provided by Chad Techner of Metro Food Rescue. Techner drives a truck around Detroit to collect food that would otherwise go to waste and deliver it to local food banks. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, they are among the more than 33 million Americans who lack food security at home.

“It doesn’t make sense to me that 40 percent of food is wasted in this country,” Techner said. “Yes, one of her four children does not have enough food. I have four young children, she is a very touching statistic.”

Teckner’s team packed a truck at Bimbo Bakeries USA, which makes Thomas’ English muffins, with food that had just passed its best-buy date.

“If it doesn’t make it to the food bank, it will have to be completely wasted,” said Matt Zuidema of Bimbo Bakeries.

Nearly 120 billion pounds of food goes uneaten each year in the United States, worth about $408 billion. numbers From the non-profit organization Feeding America.

“There’s more than enough for everyone,” Techner said. “We just can’t get it to the right place at the right time.”

But technology is helping reduce waste and connect people to affordable meals. Apps like Too Good To Go allow users to buy bags of goods at restaurants and stores at deep discounts before they’re thrown away.

“It’s kind of random,” says Kevin Suggs, 28, of Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. “But if he’s paying $3, $4, or $5 for a pickup, it’s always net. [return on investment]. ”

In Detroit, Askew said Americans need to understand their needs.

“If you can’t find it, look for the starving,” said Askew. “It’s out there. Donate leftovers. Buy a few extras of this or that. Find a pantry and donate.”

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