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Agriculture Press Release

November 9, 1998

Food Recovery Program Is a Year-round Effort

TALLAHASSEE The plight of the hungry is highlighted around the Thanksgiving holiday, but Florida Agriculture Commissioner Bob Crawford notes that his agency works throughout the year to provide food for the needy. A new "Food Recovery Resource Guide" being distributed by the agency will help by bringing together restauranteurs and other potential food donors with the charitable organizations that distribute food to the needy.

"Several years ago, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services joined farmers, non-profit organizations and food relief agencies to locate surplus fresh produce, coordinate its transportation and storage, and distribute it to the needy on a year-round basis," Crawford said.

This year the Legislature sought to expand the Food Recovery Program by requiring potential food donors and those who distribute food to the needy to make "every reasonable effort" to contact each other to provide for the collection and distribution of any surplus or excess canned or perishable food.

Crawford said that the Food Recovery Resource Guide, published by the Department, was designed to assist this effort and make operation of the states food recovery program more effective and efficient.

The 22-page booklet includes information about the food recovery program and a list of organizations throughout the state involved in feeding the hungry by collecting or distributing packaged or perishable commodities. The booklet will be distributed to restaurants, hotels, schools and other establishments with food service facilities to encourage them to donate surplus food to organizations serving the hungry in their area.

"The problem of hunger in America is a serious one that affects us all," Crawford said. "This booklet will help bring together prospective food donors and those who serve the hungry to help alleviate the problem of hunger in Florida. By working together, we can expand our efforts to feed the hungry, not just during Thanksgiving, but throughout the year.

The Food Recovery Resource Guide lists those organizations that have indicated to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which administers the program, their interest in the Food Recovery Program and the types of foods they have the capability to recover and distribute.

The guide also includes a list of Internet sites relating to food recovery organizations and resources, a description of food recovery methods, information about how individuals, businesses and organizations can get involved in food recovery efforts, and references to legislation that addresses the liability for canned or perishable food distributed free of charge.

According to a 1997 study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, approximately one-fourth of Americas food goes to waste each year, with an estimated 96 billion pounds of food ending up in landfills.

Copies of "The Food Recovery Resource Guide" are available from:

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
Bureau of Food Distribution
541 East Tennessee Street
Tallahassee, FL 32308
Phone: 850-487-6694
E-mail:

-30-


For more information:

Terence McElroy
(850) 488-3022

Gloria Van Treese
(850) 487-6694


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