Coletta, Legislators Take ‘Pledge to Waste Less’

Special to the Patriot-Bridge

With nearly 40% of food going unsold and uneaten and tens of millions of people facing food insecurity in the United States (including over 500,000 in Massachusetts alone), food recovery organization, Spoonfuls, debuted its “Pledge to Waste Less” this month.

The pledge aims to engage individuals, businesses, schools, and community groups across the Commonwealth in commitments to curb their wasted food footprints, with participants including U.S. Congressman and Chair of the Hunger Caucus, Jim McGovern, State Representative Hannah Kane (along with all seven of her co-chairs on the bipartisan, bicameral Massachusetts Food System Caucus), and Boston City Councilor Gabriela Coletta.

In a speech on the House floor last week, McGovern, whose decades-long political career has centered on opportunities to end hunger and build a stronger food system, said he’s focused on policy solutions, including building support for food recovery. “I’ve always said that, in America, we have a mismatch: Acres of fresh fruits and vegetables and some of the most talented farmers in the world, yet nearly 40 million Americans go hungry. We have enough food to feed everyone, yet so much goes to waste.”

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree of Maine concurred. A member of the House Agriculture Committee and Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Interior and Environmental Subcommittee, Pingree cited the environmental impacts of wasted food as an impetus for her participation in the Pledge to Waste Less.

Said Pingree, “The staggering amount of food waste in America is not only costly for families, businesses, and farmers but also has a huge environmental impact. As I work in Congress to support food recovery, like fixing our outdated and confusing food date labeling system, I pledge to do my part at home to curb my food waste by using leftovers, making and sticking to grocery lists, and rethinking food date labels. For the sake of our planet, I urge others to consider taking the pledge, too.”

Spoonfuls’ pledge is part of a larger effort by the organization to call attention to the problem of wasted food and its impact on people, planet, and the economy. By debuting the pledge during Earth Month, the organization, which picks up still-good, unsold food from retailers, like grocery stores, and distributes it to food programs across the state, hopes to leverage broad interest in climate-focused initiatives to spotlight the role reducing wasted food can have.

The pledge is available online and paired with real-time recommendations for concrete action steps participants can take to curb their wasted food footprints. It has applications for households and businesses, which are each responsible for roughly 50 percent of landfilled food in the U.S.

Said Spoonfuls’ Senior Director of Communications & Public Affairs, Joni Kusminsky, specifically engaging policymakers in the pledge is a nod to the importance of public policy as a critical driver in making long term, systemic change in the food system. “We need individual action to curb waste and feed people,” said Kusminsky. “But sound public policy can help to underscore the importance of those actions, drive future action, and make it possible for more people and businesses to take steps to reduce wasted food.”

Kusminsky points to Massachusetts’ Organics Waste Ban and pending state and federal legislation aimed at expanding food literacy and standardizing date labels as opportunities to bolster individual action.

“With wasted food consuming over 6% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and 24% of landfill inputs, preventing wasted food is a way to honor the resources it took to produce that food in the first place, mitigate the climate emergency, and ensure more people have the food they need for their health,” said Kusminsky.

To learn more and participate in the Pledge to Waste Less, visit:

Through food recovery and food distribution, education, and advocacy, Spoonfuls works to address the health, environmental, and economic impact that wasted food has on people and the planet. Learn more at

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