One in five New Orleans residents are food insecure. 15.8% of households in Louisiana experience food insecurity, which is higher than the national rate of 11.7%. This is an improvement from 18.4% previously reported in the 2013-2015 period, but still higher than the state's pre-Katrina levels. Louisiana also outpaces the rest of the South, which has a food insecurity rate of 13%. Despite this, New Orleans has one of the highest restaurant per capita ratios in the country. These restaurants throw away tens of thousands of pounds of food each year.
Although the New Orleans branch of Rescuing Leftover Cuisine is just starting, we already have partnerships with local restaurants, such as Carrabbas and Cafe Reconcile which help us each week to serve meals to human service organizations like Broadmoor Food Pantry. Please help us continue this work for NOLA!
40% of the food produced in the U.S. is wasted, but 1 in 4 households are food insecure. Food waste is one of the largest components of landfills, and contributes to methane gases, which are more harmful to the environment than CO2. All of the natural resources used to create wasted food, tax dollars used to subsidize food products, and energy expended to transport the food to our tables is wasted. Also, 46 mil Americans are hungry and more than half of the food pantries run out of food daily.
RLC engages community members to bring excess food from restaurants and other institutions to people who need it in their own local communities. Led by dedicated group volunteer leaders called Lead Rescuers and Core Rescuers, volunteers take unsold product at the end of the day that food vendors would otherwise throw out, and we walk it over to local soup kitchens. RLC engages people in the community as volunteers to help deliver the food, making people become more connected to the two issues.
Hunger can be eliminated, because rescuing just 30% of wasted food is enough to feed all food insecure people in America, and we as a nation currently only recovers about 3%. RLC provides a structure where anyone can help out and bring excess food to the hungry. Our volunteer events are an average of 30 minutes, so anyone along their way home can make a difference. The shelters we help provide food to can not only feed more people, they can also use their resources on other essential services.