Faith Leaders Unite to End Hunger

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Food Waste Weekend educates clergy of all faiths about the issue of food waste, and then gives them the tools they need to share the issue with their congregation. Free food waste primer and sermons are available at

Food Waste Weekend educates clergy about the issue of food waste, and then gives them the tools they need to share the issue with their congregation. The program was developed by - the unique nationwide nonprofit that is eliminating food waste and hunger by linking 42 million American home gardeners to local food pantries.

The second annual Food Waste Weekend will take place September 8-10, 2017. This is a global invitation and opportunity for the faith community to learn about and address the waste of food during the weekend’s religious services. Each year the United States wastes 133 Billion pounds of food or 40% of food produced. At the same time, 1 in 6 Americans doesn’t know where their next meal will come from. Free information about food waste, faith-specific sample sermons, newsletter bulletins and more are available to clergy who sign up at

Food Waste Weekend was launched in 2016 to help the faith community shift its focus from ‘feeding the hungry’ to ‘ending hunger’. “For the past 10 years, an increasing number of food industry leaders, non-profits, government officials and others have been tackling the issue of food waste in America. One critical group – the faith community – has been largely absent from the conversation, until now,” says’s Founder and Executive Director Gary Oppenheimer. “Since 70% of America’s food pantries are located in a house of worship, faith leaders are critical partners in helping get that excess food to hungry families. We knew we should invite clergy of all religions to learn, and then speak from their own faith perspective, about food waste.”

Clergy nationwide are enthusiastic about the opportunities of this second annual event. Rev. Jacob Bolton of New York noted that “Food Waste Weekend addresses the complex, global issue of food waste and overconsumption, with tangible, local, and ‘spiritually cultivating’ practices that any faith community can undertake. The possibilities surrounding this weekend are sundry and full of hope. This is the invitation faith communities have been looking for.” Rabbi Joshua Ratner from Connecticut echoed his sentiments: "I think this is a fantastic opportunity for people of all faiths to actualize the biblical injunction to share the gleanings of our fields with those in need. Donating our food surplus, rather than throwing it away, reinforces the conservationist ethic that is a part of all religious traditions. I hope houses of worship of all faiths will participate.”

Food Waste Weekend materials at were specifically developed for Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu and Unitarian-Universalists communities, and other faiths are welcome to adapt them for their use. Clergy are urged to mark September 8-10 on their calendars to give sermons on the waste of food and further discussions about how reducing food waste can help congregations follow their faith traditions, save money at the grocery store and help improve the health of both themselves and the planet. Food waste sermons can be given at any date, the resources will remain online and freely available. In addition, all congregants can learn more about what they can do personally at Through, the key beneficiaries of Food Waste Weekend will be food pantries nationwide that will receive food, especially locally grown food, that otherwise would have been lost to waste.

About, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization which works to diminish food waste and hunger in America by educating, encouraging and empowering growers to easily find a local food bank eager to receive the excess garden bounty. For more information, visit or call AMPLE-6-9880 (267-536-9880).

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Jamie McCarthy
since: 04/2009
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