NEW CITY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — For a moment, think about your own refrigerator. How much food do you throw away?
“The fact that we throw away 40 percent of our food is a sin,” Rockland County Legislature Chairman Alden Wolfe told WCBS 880’s Sean Adams.READ MORE: RFK Bridge Lanes Closed After Police-Involved Shooting, Trooper Struck By Vehicle
Wolfe has formed a Food Recovery Task Force. He says change can actually start in your own home.
“What I’m doing now is I’m buying ugly produce,” he said, referring to supermarket items with blemishes and brown spots that are likely to end up in the trash.
On a larger scale, the goal is to redirect wasted food to those in need.
“There are about 30,000 Rocklanders that are considered food insecure, and every year we feed about 15,000 of them,” said Diane Serratore, executive director of People to People, Rockland’s largest food pantry.READ MORE: Dr. Fauci Says He 'Would Not Be Surprised' If Omicron COVID Variant Is Already In US
“We pick up at Chipotle, Cheesecake Factory, at Starbucks, at Red Lobster, at Bonefish Grill,” Serratore said. “Their organizations are parts of national chains, and they’ve worked out an agreement with Feeding America to participate in this food rescue.”
But more storage and refrigeration is needed.
Another aim is to reduce waste. Martin Brand with the state Department of Environmental Conservation has some ideas.
“Composting is certainly a primary one,” he said. “There’s also some opportunity to produce energy through anaerobic digestion,” thus producing methane for fuel.
The federal government, too, is interested in Rockland County’s efforts.MORE NEWS: Nassau Police: Emya Johnson, 15, Reported Missing From Syosset After Visiting Family In The Bronx
“The appreciation is like, ‘OK, you’re feeding these people,’ but guess what: You’re going to be spending less carting your waste away because not as much is going to be there,” said Judy Ann Mitchell with the Environmental Protection Agency.