How saving uneaten food can change lives and help the climate

DM

In the US, 37 million people struggle to get enough healthy, affordable food, yet at the same time 40% of edible produce — enough to feed 164 million people — is thrown away. Laura Paddison meets the twins who are trying to untangle this contradiction. It was a story about broccoli soup that really brought home to Shirley Zhu the value of the work she was doing. She and her twin sister Annie, who are 18, were delivering boxes of food to people struggling to get affordable, nutritious food in their home city of Houston, Texas. One woman, who Shirley was visiting for the second time, was excited to tell her that she had made broccoli soup for her and her young daughter with the previous food package. “It was heartening to see that even giving people a bag of produce can have an effect and positively impact their lives,” says Shirley. It demonstrated the power of fresh food – not just for improving health, but in bringing families closer together by encouraging them to cook and eat together. “When people just have access to convenience store junk food and fast food that’s cheap and convenient, I think that it also breeds an emotional toll on families,” she says.

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