COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. — Leaders with St. Matthew's House say the group spent nearly half a million dollars to organize, set up, and distribute food in the region last year.
“This year, 2022, we're already in July and it tells you a little bit about the expenses and exactly what the costs were last year compared to this year,” Lorna McLain, Director of Food Assistance Program, said.
McLain says The St. Matthews House expects to spend more than the previous year.
“The need has doubled this year and that's just, right now, how things are going,” McLain said.
As some are calling to pass the Food Donation Improvement Act, Congress notes it has only been read twice and referred to a committee.
McLain said, at the local level, it would make food recovery programs easier to help with donations.
The USDA says 40% of the food supply in the U.S. gets wasted.
“What does it look like to do food recovery, how are we keeping that food safe? Where can that food go? It is another big question that a lot of institutions and individuals have when they think 'I have all the surplus food,'” Regina Anderson, executive director of The Food Recovery Network said. “What can I possibly do with it?”
“One, we don't have to pay for it, so it doesn't come out of our budget. And two, it’s a great variety of different foods that goes out into our families' hands and our families' table,” McLain said.
Anderson said if the bill passes, it could shine a light on what people can do in their own homes to reduce food insecurities for others.
“The Food Donation Improvement Act will help people to understand you actually are encouraged to donate,” Anderson said.
Supporters of The Food Donation Improvement Act encourage people to reach out to congress when food banks report high numbers they serve each month.