With 40% of food produced being thrown away, our consumer education program in 31 Ralph’s and Food4Less locations around the county aims to educate San Diegans about food waste.
This month, we are on a mission to educate San Diegans about food waste through our Save The Food, San Diego! campaign. Throughout the month of September, we are teaming up with 31 San Diego area Ralph’s and Food 4 Less locations to teach shoppers about the significant impacts of wasted food, and share some simple steps we can all take in our homes and while we are grocery shopping to reduce food waste.
Our Save The Food, San Diego! campaign is a countywide consumer education program that teaches San Diegans a few different strategies for food waste reduction, including: 1) proper storage for vegetables, 2) proper storage for fruits, 3) zero waste cooking, and 4) smart planning.
From Sept. 1-30, Ralph’s & Food 4 Less will have our Save the Food, San Diego! educational handouts available at a total of 31 of their San Diego County locations, while select stores (see list below) will also showcase interactive displays with tips.
As our Executive Director Elly Brown says, “Our goal is to educate shoppers by giving them everyday tips and tricks for reducing food waste at home. There is significant waste produced in the U.S. food system, and as consumers, most of us don’t realize we are responsible for a vast portion of it.”
Each year, up to 40% of food in the U.S. never gets eaten, translating to $218 billion lost, which includes the cost of food wasted on the consumer and retail level, as well as the vast quantities of fuel, agricultural resources, water, land, and labor needed to produce it. In fact, about 21% of our nation’s total fresh water is used to grow food that gets trashed.
Consumers are responsible for more wasted food than grocery stores and restaurants combined, so changing household behavior is key to reducing the problem of food waste.
The average American family of four spends at least $1,500 per year on food that they don’t eat and each individual tosses over 20 pounds of food per month.
No matter where the waste occurs, it also represents a lost opportunity to feed people. While the average family of four wastes an average of 1,000 pounds of food each year, one in seven San Diegans struggles with hunger.
“With more than 6 million meals donated in 2018 through food rescue, Ralphs is striving to deliver solutions for both wasted food and food insecurity,” said Mike Murphy, president of Ralphs. “Our Zero Hunger | Zero Waste social impact plan is our commitment to end hunger in our communities while eliminating waste across the company by 2025.
“We know that we cannot meet these goals alone; we need likeminded partners like the San Diego Food System Alliance to realize that 2025 goal,” said Bryan Kaltenbach, president of Food 4 Less. “We hope that this call to action will show the local community that individual actions can influence change.”
We are thrilled that Ralphs and Food 4 Less has agreed to bring Save the Food, San Diego! messaging and strategies to so many shoppers perusing their produce aisles around San Diego County.
Local participating Ralphs grocery stores include:
101 G Street
1020 University Avenue
3345 Sports Arena Blvd.
10525 4S Commons Drive
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive in La Jolla
3455 Del Mar Heights Road in Del Mar
7140 Avenida Encinas in Carlsbad
Local participating Food 4 Less stores include:
312 Euclid Ave
5975 University Ave
660 Palomar Street in Chula Vista
444 Broadway in El Cajon
7420 Broadway Street in Lemon Grove
1320 E. 30th Street in National City
Let us know if you see Save the Food, San Diego! posters or handouts at your local grocery store!