April 17, 2013 - “Each year 40% of the food produced in America ends up in the landfill,” said Thurston County Food Bank (TCFB) Executive Director Robert Coit. On average, Americans throw away 20 pounds of food each month, which amounts to about $2,275 a year for a family of four. Coit advocated breaking our wasteful habits and donating the money we save to help families in need. Coit added, “We may not end poverty, but we could end hunger in our community.”

Coit reminded Gateway Rotarians that meeting our community’s need for food includes collecting perishable food as well as non-perishable canned and boxed foods. To better serve those in need, TCFB expanded its infrastructure to collect, package, and redistribute nutritious fresh food from restaurants and grocery stores in 2012. TCFB made an investment in a warehouse so food can be purchased in larger quantities for better savings. Coit noted that anyone can be a hero by donating a 37¢ can of food and giving back to the community. But don’t forget that people need fresh fruits and vegetables for balanced nutrition. TCFB needs cash donations to pay for programs to purchase food to fill the gaps from food drives and for efficient storage and distribution operations.