(BPT) – With the holiday season upon us, Americans are gathering for traditional celebrations and family meals. Even after leftovers have been devoured for days, the amount of uneaten food and overall food waste is overwhelming.
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), during the 2016 Thanksgiving holiday, Americans wasted about 204 million pounds of turkey or about 6 million turkeys.
Research shows that despite the best efforts of people and companies across the nation, the average American wastes 240 pounds of food annually, resulting in the loss of roughly $1,500.
The No. 1 source of landfill material is food products, which does more to pollute the environment than all the motor vehicles in the state of Georgia combined.
Pilot Flying J serves up hot meals, reduces food waste, with national partnership
While food waste across the U.S. remains a major challenge, it isn’t a problem that is being ignored. Across the nation, people and companies like Pilot Flying J are working diligently to reduce waste and divert otherwise wasted food products from the landfills and into the hands of people in need.
Pilot Flying J, for example, has partnered with Food Donation Connection (FDC), an organization that strives to help food service companies reduce food waste and feed those in need. As the largest operator of travel centers in North America, Pilot Flying J is working through the Harvest Program to donate quality, surplus food that its locations serve every day.
This donated food will include hot PJ Fresh pizza slices, burgers and premium breakfast sandwiches. Each will be safely prepared for donation to local food banks and shelters all across the country where it will be given to families in need of a warm meal. The partnership between these two organizations launched earlier this year and Pilot Flying J expects to surpass its 2017 goal of 200,000 pounds of surplus food donated to help those in need. You can learn more at blog.pilotflyingj.com.
Helpful tips to reduce food waste at home
While companies like Pilot Flying J are taking steps to prevent waste while feeding the hungry, individuals can also make efforts to stop their food purchases from ending up in a landfill. Start by planning your purchases for specific meals instead of a general inventory and properly store or prepare your food as soon as you return home to reduce waste due to spoilage.
When it comes to mealtime, take only what you can eat – especially at restaurants or buffets – and if the meal was home-cooked, be open to leftovers the next day. A reheated meal from the night before may not be your first choice, but your wallet and the environment will thank you for making such a conservation-minded decision.