Jorge Hernandez, a driver for Waste Not, a food bank, unloads a refrigerated truck with the help of a Salvation Army officer in Mesa, Arizona. Thermo King’s We Move Food program granted $75,000 to Waste Not to support its mission to recover fresh, nutritious foods and distribute them to the hungry.
 - Photo courtesy Thermo King

I grew up in a German-American household where we didn’t waste food. My parents were raised that way and that’s how they raised us. This was in the 1940s and ‘50s when adults remembered the Great Depression, even if we kids didn’t.
So we ate what was put on our plates. And if there were leftovers, they were packed up and put in the refrigerator and became meals in subsequent days. I still clean my plate, and eat leftovers for lunch and supper later. It’s the right thing to do, I think.
So I was happy to see an announcement today from Thermo King, the maker of transport refrigeration units that has a vested interest in food production and consumption. Thermo King says it has expanded its support of efforts to reduce food waste, and committed nearly $500,000 in additional grants to food banks nationwide.
“Forty percent, or nearly $200 billion of food in the U.S., goes to waste each year,” the release states. “Making this statistic harder to comprehend, 40 million people struggle with hunger, and 12 million of them are children.”
Thermo King calls the situation a “senseless epidemic,” and in 2017 started its We Move Food program to get nutrition to hungry people. The latest financial commitment “catapults the program’s total giving to nearly $750,000 in just two years, resulting in more than 5.7 million meals for people in need,” the announcement says.
Money is one thing but doing is another. Corporate and dealer employees volunteer time at mobile food pantries and food drives, reclaiming healthy food from retailers and restaurants and working with community food banks to make their operations run more efficiently and effectively.
More than 23 million Americans live in areas where access to affordable and healthy food options is limited or nonexistent, the release said. And nearly half of those people are considered low income, making it harder for them to get the food they need.  
“Transport refrigeration plays a critical role in addressing food insecurity,” said Ray Pittard, Thermo King’s president, in the release. “With the staggering amount of waste each year and the millions who are suffering, we know that producing more food is not the answer.
“We need to recover what would potentially be wasted and get that fresh food to the people in need. That’s literally what Thermo King and our dealer network do –  we move food.”