Rescuers seek to save food from dumpsters to feed hungry people in El Paso and Juarez
EL PASO, Texas – According to a 2012 study, the Natural Resources Defense Council calculated that the average individual in the United States sheds an average of 400 pounds of food per year. It’s just one person – not an entire family. For this reason, “No Lost Food” was created with the aim of preventing as much food as possible from reaching landfills as it can be toxic to the environment.
The folks at No Lost Food are all volunteers. The local nonprofit tries to collect all leftover food, whether perishable or non-perishable, from family homes or even restaurants they partner with. Food quality control is carried out to ensure that the food is still edible, and then the food is delivered to starving households or people staying in shelters in the area.
“A pasta platter is left over from a party, we can pick it up. We also accept canned goods, grains, whatever is non-perishable and perishable, ”Priya Raj, El Paso branch manager at No Lost Food, told ABC-7.
No Lost Food volunteers use a food waste hierarchy to determine how the food will be treated after being collected by the organization. At the top, they say “buy what you can eat / eat what you buy” which is the first step in minimizing the amount of leftover food waste. If that is not possible, which can sometimes be the case, at this point No Lost Food is more than willing to step in and get the food out of your hands.
From there, the food quality control is complete. If the food is edible, then it is sent to a family or to a shelter. Otherwise, they will actually give the food to feed the animals on the farms. If the food is not edible for the animals, it is meant to be composted – a process that returns the food to the nutritious soil. Finally, if all else fails, the food reaches the landfill.
Frontera Churros has partnered with No Lost Food to help reduce the amount of edible food they throw away. Bertha Gil, owner of the company, believes it is important to prevent all of her extra food from going directly to the landfill.
“The fact that at night we were throwing out churros or whatever food we were making broke our hearts, thinking that maybe we could donate some somewhere. what we sell we put aside and put in a trash can just for donation and we do it daily, daily or weekly, ”she said.
Maricruz Chavez, supervisor of a community center in Juarez that works with adults and children, told ABC-7 that she appreciates all the food No Lost Food provides at the center – always looking for them.
Over the past year, the organization has provided food to 800 families between sister cities and saved more than 20,000 pounds. No Lost Food says it is doing everything it can to try and save as much food as possible from the landfill.