I have been doing community service at Foodshare on Tuesdays and Thursdays. I have been working at a produce warehouse. The workers and I sort fruits and vegetables, mostly bagging them up while throwing out the bad ones.
Foodshare is a great organization, in my opinion. I knew before doing the community service that they are one of the most efficient charities in Connecticut. Along with America’s Second Harvest, they are one of my two favorite charities to give monetary donations. I say this so you understand my next comments are not meant to be against them.
While sorting through these fruits and vegetables, I notice that many our bad, and even the ones that we do not throw away aren’t always in perfect condition and may go bad before getting wherever they are going. It seems like a waste to me.
This experience has made me decide to support the use of non-perishables to fight poverty and hunger. I understand the desire to provide the hungry with healthy food to fulfill basic nutritional needs, but couldn’t products like V8 Juice be used instead of fresh fruits and vegetables? Such less-perishable foods wouldn’t rot, and would also be easier to handle and ship around. For example, canned and bottled foods can be kept and packaged easier, and they won’t break or become damaged as easily as fresh fruits and vegetables.
I’m sure Foodshare and similar organizations work with such less-perishable goods, including canned and bottled goods. I know that I just happen to be assigned to a specific warehouse for fresh produce. However, I now think that the less fresh produce is used, the better.
If you want to discuss the usage of fresh produce, or discuss this post, please join my Hunger and Poverty Forums. It’s completely free, and all viewpoints are welcome.