America Recycles Day

Date posted: Saturday 01 November 2014

by Vernita Kennen


America Recycles Day is November 15th! Are you like me and didn’t know that there was such a designation for an America Recycles Day on your calendar? I just discovered this and gave some thought to how this might relate to those who are hungry in God’s big world.


Recent articles and research studies report that the average American throws away 20 pounds of food per month. That amounts to 34 million tons each year! No wonder some cities, such as San Francisco, and states, such as Massachusetts, have specific programs to deal with organic waste. Some cities in Minnesota are following suit.


Other articles tell us that the average family of four in the United States throws away $2,275.00 worth of food annually. That's more than the amount of plastic, paper, metal and glass that is discarded. The amount of food in the U.S. that is thrown away has increased 50% since 1970.  What does that say about us as people who know that many of God's children - currently 1 in 9 - are hungry, and yet we are willing to waste foodstuffs?


Perhaps it's time to recycle some of the food that we so thoughtlessly and willingly throw away. When it comes to food, “recycling” means using it up or leftovers. I think our family does a pretty good job. We heat and reheat quite regularly; our microwave is a good friend. We keep a large quantity of plastic storage containers and save even small amounts of remaining food to use for lunch or a “clean out the fridge” night when not everyone gets the same meal.


Join me in being especially aware on November 15 about recycling food and cutting food waste. Consider giving some of the $2,275.00 that your family could save this year to help your local food bank or the ELCA World Hunger program feed someone who is truly hungry.


Photo via U.S. National Archives and Records Administration