Why doesn’t the US have a law like France’s regarding the distribution of unsold food to charity?

If you’re here to read about books, pardon me while I get up on my soapbox for a few moments to talk about an issue that is close to my heart.

If you’ve gone grocery shopping lately, you’ll note how expensive food can be. I know for my household, just getting a week’s worth of basic groceries involving the recommended number of servings of the five food groups can easily reach over $150.00 USD. Sometimes, I clip coupons and sometimes I personally go without if it means the rest of my family can have nutritious food.

Money is tight all over the world. Sometimes the only place people can find food is through charities, food banks or dumpsterdiving.

In France, a law was just passed making it a requirement for supermarkets to throw away or destroy unspoiled food. Instead, they’re required to donate the unused food to charity or for use in animal feed.

This law is not without critics but I have to wonder why we can’t pass similar laws in the US when every day millions of people go hungry? According to statistics from Feeding America, in 2013, 45.3 million people were in poverty and 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 33.3 million adults and 15.8 million children. Food insecurity is in reference to a household not being sure if where their next meal might come from.

This is a serious issue to me and I hope you take the moment to think about what you’d do if you didn’t know where your next meal is coming from. Would you apply for public assistance? Would you seek out a food bank? Would you dumpsterdive and risk possible illness or breaking the law? Would you go hungry?

Just some food for thought.


If you’re interested in reading the May 22 article of The Guardian which caught my attention, you can find it here:

France to force big supermarkets to give unsold food to charities


If you’re in the US and you need food assistance or would like to donate to a food based charity, please visit Feeding America at http://www.feedingamerica.org/find-your-local-foodbank/