According to the US Department of Agriculture, 14.7 percent of households, or approximately 200,000 people, in Maine are food insecure. 17.5 percent of Maine's children are unsure of where their next meal is coming from. People are being turned away from food banks, as they are experiences a huge increase in demand and a decrease in food donations. This is why we support LD 476, a bill that could reduce food waste in Maine, while encouraging food donations to food pantries from state-funded organizations.
The unfortunate reality is that up to 40 percent of food in America is wasted at the retail, consumer, and food-service levels. Wholesome food, which could feed billions of hungry people, is thrown into landfills, simply because transporting unused food to the needy is inconvenient. To ignore such exploitation of food resources is intolerable, and we cannot sit idly while Maine citizens are robbed of their most basic life necessities.
The passage of this bill will not end hunger in Maine. However, it could begin the transformation in the way our food systems function. State-funded organizations can set a standard of how to be socially responsible and build sustainability within our local communities. Encouraging people to recycle their food will increase consciousness of how much food is wasted.
Health is a human right, and no human should go hungry while its nation is more than capable of providing wholesome nourishment to all of its members. Food insecurity will not be solved overnight, but we have an obligation to try each and every viable solution. This bill will make a difference, so please do your part and contact your state representatives to support LD 476 so something can be done about hunger in Maine.
WENDY DAVIS OF SACO;
BIRCH HINCKS, JULIA FOSTER, AND KAISA MANN, PORTLAND
CONCERNED MSW STUDENTS AT UNE