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SPOTLIGHT

2. FOOD SECURITY

Businesses learn there are tax incentives and laws to help them recycle mountains of food

Each year, Americans waste 30 to 40 percent of all the food that is grown, harvested and bought. In 2010 alone, the Department of Agriculture's Office of the Chief Economist estimated that the amount of food loss and waste at the retail and consumer level was about 122 billion pounds, worth about $161 billion. At the same time, close to 50 million Americans (14.3 percent of all households) do not have sufficient access to food because they don't have the resources to obtain it. Of those individuals, 12.2 million people are eating less than what they need to maintain a nutritious diet, according to data from the USDA's Economic Research Service. While the two problems are daunting separately, three New England states may have found an avenue to address both waste and hunger at once.

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