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Celebrate Global Recycling Day with Second Harvest!

March 18th marks Global Recycling Day, a significant occasion for us at Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee. While recycling is crucial in today’s world, we’ve gone beyond the traditional notion by implementing innovative methods to maximize our efforts to feed as many people as possible. 

Since 2006, Second Harvest has pioneered a groundbreaking initiative called the Grocery Rescue Program. Collaborating strategically with approximately 350 retailers, this program rescues food items destined for landfills. These perfectly safe-to-eat items are rejected by retailers due to reasons that have nothing to do with being edible, such as being out of season or lacking labels. Second Harvest salvages and redirects these foods to our Partner Agencies to serve those in need. 

The Grocery Rescue Program not only addresses hunger but also fosters a more sustainable Middle and West Tennessee. Food constitutes the largest category of material in municipal landfills, and a significant portion remains edible. At a time when 353,000 of our neighbors are facing hunger, it is disheartening to witness millions of pounds of food being discarded. In a way, the Grocery Rescue Program can be thought of as a recycling program. Here, our program acts as a form of recycling by turning potential waste into nourishing meals. 

The impact of diverting wasted food is profound, especially considering its rapid decay in landfills, contributing to 58% of methane emissions. Methane, a potent greenhouse gas, accelerates climate change upon release into the atmosphere. By recycling food through our program, we mitigate methane emissions and provide sustenance to those in need. Last year alone, Second Harvest diverted 11,600,000 pounds of food to Partner Agencies, fostering moments of shared meals and community gatherings from what would have been mere waste. 

On this Global Recycling Day, let’s pause to acknowledge the significance of recycling in our daily lives. At Second Harvest, recycling isn’t limited to reducing plastic waste; it encompasses salvaging safe-to-eat food for our hungry neighbors. Join us in our mission to combat hunger through innovative recycling practices. Together, we can make a tangible difference in the lives of those in need while promoting sustainability in our community.

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