AFI aims to shine a light on the critical problem of food waste in the Untied States. Recent studies, including one produced by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC IP:12-06-B), have found that as much as 40 percent of food grown in the U.S. goes to waste. This waste occurs on the farm, in transport, in retail stores, and in our own homes. Through our food waste project, AFI provides educational initiatives to increase awareness of the problem and provide some concrete, local solutions.
Significant on-farm waste occurs when farmers have abundant produce, which is greater than markets can absorb. It is not economically reasonable to harvest produce that cannot be sold. Through our Gleaning Program, AFI works with local farmers and community volunteers to harvest this excess produce. The produce is then donated to local food pantries.
In addition to the Gleaning program, AFI strives to educate consumers about ways to reduce food waste on a personal level through tips and take-away materials at our events throughout the season. We also do value-added processing at our kitchen incubator, South Fork Kitchens.