HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - A new study finds that Americans are throwing away 40 percent of their food.
The research from the National Resources Defense Council also suggests the average family of four wastes more than $2,200 worth of food annually.
"Well, its a shame," said Rev. Michael Barnette of Hazard's New Hope Church, which has a food bank. "Of course a lot of that food, there's no way to get it in the hands of the people that need it."
And with the recent drought causing food prices to tick upward, fewer and fewer people can afford to waste any part of a meal.
But one local restaurant official thinks the food waste estimate is a little high, especially in her establishment.
I'd say one-fourth of what's in their plate is being thrown away," said Sharon Lambert, the general manager at Jabo's State of Mine restaurant. "The 40 (percent) sounds large to me. A lot of our kids meals, those are our biggest waste here that you see thrown away because kids will order several different things and of course it's thrown out."
At any rate, Barnette said money spent on wasted food is money that is not being spent on helping the hungry.
"If people would just clean out their cupboard and food that they bought and realized they're not going to use, they could drop it off to our church and it will go in a food box," he said. "Sure would beat wasting it."
For more information on donating to the the church's food bank, call 606-439-5116.