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 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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