There are two major issues that exist in U.S. cities that many residents don’t know about. It is estimated that there are 48 million Americans currently living in food insecure households lacking access to some of the most basic necessities. At the same time, millions of tons of food waste that can be used to feed these hungry families are instead incinerated to sent to landfills. Food waste is the largest source of waste in U.S. landfills surpassing both paper and plastic. This in turn contributes to the ongoing hunger of needy families and the production of greenhouse gasses that are harmful to the environment.
Diana Lara, a 20 year resident of Long Beach saw these two issues and decided to take action to create a change by dedicating her life work to rescuing food by joining Food Finders and working out of its Long Beach office.
Diana explains the role that Food Finders takes in both rescuing food from landfills and incinerators and providing it to hundreds of Long Beach residents. She says, “The work that I do goes hand in hand with my beliefs, I felt that going to church on Sunday was not enough and that I had to give back to my community. For the last ten years, I have worked to collect food from different donors like restaurants and bakeries and drop it off at different organizations that provide meals for folks like homeless shelters, and sober living homes.”
Diana joined Don’t Waste Long Beach so that the city will be able to increase access to recycling and composting for all Long Beach residents and decrease the city’s dependence on incinerators and landfills to deal with its waste. She explains, “Long Beach needs to transform the way it deals with waste. We are currently recycling very small amounts of the waste we collect, and most residents don’t have access to a green bin for organics collections. It is critical that this change in order to improve our city and decrease its negative impact on the environment.”