Q: Why do companies have so much surplus food?

A: Because the unexpected happens all the time, everywhere—even in big corporations. Each year, an estimated 40% of food produced in the United States goes to waste. At the industry level, food becomes surplus for many reasons: grocery stores over-order, vegetables are rejected because they don’t fit a retailer’s size or color requirements, manufacturers misprint food labels, and farms have bumper crops. Each year the 200-plus food banks in the nationwide Feeding America network are able to save and distribute 2 billion pounds of surplus food to people in need.

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