The problem is that nearly one-third of all food produced globally each year is lost or wasted. In low-income countries, most food loss occurs during production, while in developed countries most food is wasted after it’s purchased.
$1 trillion of food is lost or wasted every year — enough to feed more than twice the number of hungry people
The average American wastes about 20 pounds of food each month
Farmers in Africa lose about 40% of all the food they harvest due to insects, pests and mold
8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger
Approximately $1 trillion of food is lost or wasted every year — accounting for roughly one-third of the world’s food. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), reversing this trend would preserve enough food to feed 2 billion people . That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: FAO/Alessandra Benedetti
Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: WFP/Simon Pierre Diouf
If wasted food were a country, it would be the third largest producer of carbon dioxide in the world, after the U.S. and China.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: iStock
Roughly 30 to 40 percent of the food supply in the U.S. is wasted, which works out to more than 20 pounds of food per person per month.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: NYTimes/Jake Naughton
The amount of post-harvest food loss in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2011 cost $4 billion, surpassing what the region received in food assistance that year.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: WFP/ Jonathan Eng
Cutting global food waste in half by 2030 is one of the U.N.’s top priorities. In fact, it’s one of organization’s 17 sustainable development goals.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: WFP/Charles Hatch Barnwell
WFP's Zero Post-Harvest Losses project sells low-cost, locally produced grain silos to farmers and provides them with training on post-harvest crop management in five key areas: harvesting, drying, threshing, solarization and storage.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: WFP/Davinah Nabirye
WFP tackles food waste by boosting access to local markets. This includes sourcing its school meals with locally grown crops, working with communities to build better roads and storage facilities and, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, providing cargo bikes to mostly female farmers to increase their access to markets.Source: 8 Facts to Know About Food Waste and Hunger Photo: WFP/Nyani Quarmyne
So...what is WFP doing about it?
Around the world, subsistence farmers can lose nearly half of their harvest simply because they don’t have access to modern storage equipment. WFP is changing that with silos and air-tight bags.
The typical WFP food ration includes long-lasting staples like flour, dried beans, salt and cooking oil – all packaged in sturdy containers. This ensures the items won’t spoil for weeks or months, so nothing gets thrown away.
Hydroponics, hermetic containers, recovery supply chains and virtual farmers markets. These are just a few of the innovations that allow communities to grow, sell and store food in impossible places.
The U.S. Farm Bill authorizes several critical programs that take American-grown crops like rice, corn, wheat and soy beans and distribute them to vulnerable people in need. It’s just one of the many policies we work on to end hunger.
Hacking Hunger – Episode 20: The Forgotten Food Waste Crisis
In many parts of sub-Saharan Africa, farmers can expect to lose nearly half of their harvest before it even leaves the farm. We talked to Brett Rierson, the head of the United Nations World Food Programme’s Global Post-Harvest Knowledge & Operations Center, about why and how “tupperware for crops” could change the way the world’s small-scale farmers do business.
Cutting Food Loss From 40% to 2%
Join our mailing list for insider updates about breaking emergencies and what you can do to help.Join Today
How much do you know about the causes of global hunger? Let’s find out! The answers may surprise you.Start Quiz
Families caught in crisis need your help. Your signature is more powerful than you know. Sign our pledge today.Sign Now
You can be the difference between a child going to bed hungry and waking up with a nourishing meal.Give Now