Food Rescue with Walmart and Sam's Club
Feeding America defines food waste as safe, high-quality food that is thrown away rather than eaten. Each year, 108 billion pounds of food is wasted in the United States – that’s nearly 40% of all food in America! One way to reduce the amount of food waste is through food rescue. That’s when food that would otherwise go to waste is collected and distributed to people facing hunger. Locally, the Food Bank of Central Louisiana partners with retailers and distributors who donate their excess product to us. One of the biggest contributors to our food rescue efforts is Walmart and Sam’s Club.
Our Food Procurement Coordinator, Joe Bono, coordinates food donations from retailers, producers, distributors and food drives. With Walmart and Sam’s Club, Joe says it’s not a matter of convincing them to donate to the food bank – they want to give us their excess food. It’s more a matter of making sure we’re consistently available to pick up a truckload at a local store when a donation is available. The food bank picks up donations from five Walmart stores and Sam’s Club three times a week; and six stores across Cenla donate food directly to the food pantries in their communities.
In all, Walmart and Sam’s Club’s food rescue efforts donate more than 100,000 pounds of food to the food bank and our partners each month. As Joe says, “It’s a matter of staying in touch, and letting those people know we appreciate them. That’s the best thing you can do.” And we certainly appreciate Walmart and Sam’s Club helping to alleviate hunger in Central Louisiana communities.