Waste Not, Want Not: Montgomery 'Food Recovery' Program May Be Next

Montgomery County Council member Valerie Ervin said she was inspired by students at the University of Maryland who redistributed food that would be thrown away from sports events.

How many hungry people could government and community programs feed if food that would otherwise be thrown away was redistributed to those who needed it?

Montgomery County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Dist 5) of Silver Spring is hoping to find out. Ervin announced Friday that she wants to start a food recovery program in Montgomery County based on a model created by students at the .

Ervin is scheduled to outline the county program at a news conference on Tuesday in Rockville.

At Maryland, the Food Recovery Network collects unused food from special events, such as football games and alumni parties, and redistributes the food to hungry people. The group has donated more than 30,000 meals, according to a release from the county council.  

“Hunger is an ever-increasing problem in our county,” Ervin said in a statement. “The food recovery initiative will not only help our area non-profit organizations who fight hunger, but should also reduce the amount of food that ends up in our waste stream.

“In my mind, this initiative is a win-win as those who donate food receive tax benefits and those in need receive healthy meals,” she continued.

More people in Montgomery County are applying for public assistance than ever before, according to the council's release. Another poverty indicator—the number of school students who qualify for free or reduced meals—is also growing in the county. About one-third of students in the county's public schools now qualify.

The program would be a boon to local food banks, like Manna, which endorsed Ervin's plan in a statement.

“Given the continuing demand for food at Manna Food Center, a key to our future success is finding new sources of food donations,” Minerva Delgado, executive director of Manna, said. “This initiative is an important step in that direction.”

Before any food is saved, the council will convene a work group to figure out costs and other logistics of such a network. The findings of the group will be presented to council in a final report next July. 

reaganredux October 08, 2012 at 12:33 PM
What? no cerified food preparer? No, manager in charge of food and beverage? No proper kitchen facilities or trained staff? How will our government insure proper handling of the food? How will our government insure the food only goes to those who are hungary and not to the third generation of entitlement people? How will our government keep them off the street corner begging and into the dining room to eat? I think we need another agency to oversee these huge problems.Suppose the poor get food but didnt pay for the plastic bag? How are all the libs going to figure that one out?
Jerry October 08, 2012 at 09:31 PM
How about donating free food to homeowners who are staggering under the weight of exorbitant Montgomery County property taxes? They need relief, too!


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