At Long Island Cares, we often talk about food insecurity and the factors that contribute to hunger on Long Island.
We also discuss programs that solve these issues of food insecurity and the ways we can work toward a hunger free island. Today, we would like to touch on one of the tertiary issues that surround not just Long Island, but also our culture in the United States. And that topic is: WASTE.
Wastefulness doesn’t directly lead to food insecurity, but it certainly doesn’t help the issue. Food and product waste contributes to the cycle of consumption that harms the environment and places more stress on our available resources. And when we let our level of waste and consumption go unchecked, we drive up the cost of business and allow room for over-production.
Take for example, a truck driver who recently came to our facility. A few months ago, he made the trek from Kansas to Long Island to deliver food to a local retailer. However, after unloading his truck, a warehouse employee accidentally reloaded the truck with more than 500 pounds of spicy chicken. That was not on the agenda, but as with any business, mistakes happen.
When the truck diver made the discovery, he called his supervisor who told him to throw the chicken away. He was due back in Kansas and they had no place to store the chicken nor the money to drive that extra weight across the country, so tossing it seemed to be the obvious choice.
That’s right; the logical business solution was to throw a quarter of a ton of spicy chicken in the garbage.
But this truck driver objected to that solution and gave us a call instead. That was where Darlene Selario, our retail program coordinator stepped in. She’s the person who steps in and diverts product to Long Islanders in need.
Later that day, the truck driver dropped the chicken off at our warehouse, where it was then distributed to food pantries and soup kitchens on the island and quickly placed in the hands of hungry families. This is just one way we’re creating more efficient systems of resourcefulness on Long Island. To learn more, take a look at the video below, or watch the full podcast here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkOPB0gko54