As executive director of Boca Raton food bank Helping Hands, James Gavrilos saw firsthand the toll poverty was taking on his community. He also saw that too much good food was going to waste. The U.S. Department of Food and Agriculture has estimated that of all food produced in America, 30 to 40 percent of it is thrown away. People like Gavrilos are working to educate restaurateurs and grocery managers that they will face no liability from donating leftover food, and they can receive a tax deduction for their donation. “The food recovery movement is just beginning,” he told Anne Geggis of the Sun Sentinel. Helping Hands has recently added a new refrigerated truck and two more delivery trucks, managing to triple the amount of food donations they previously received from restaurants and supermarkets. The Whole Foods in Boca Raton regularly donates from every department except seafood, meat, and vitamins. Bill Harper, Helping Hands’ director of food and warehouse operations, told Geggis, “Everything we get is typically in the clients’ hands or being cooked within 72 hours. We are going to be there when we say we’re going to be there.” And Boca Raton’s neediest residents are thankful for that.
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