Fighting Food Waste in WNY

June 10, 2013 Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM EDT

By WKBW Admin

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June 10, 2013 Updated Jun 10, 2013 at 7:01 PM EDT

BUFFALO (WKBW) The US Department of Agriculture says 30 percent of all food will end up wasted, meaning one out of every three products on grocery store shelves could end up in the trash.

Those same statistics say that waste will cost the average person nearly 400 dollars per year. For a family of four, that's almost 1600 dollars annually.

"Things spoil, or you think that someone will eat it, and it ends up in the trash," shopper Cynthia Badame-Rodriguez said.

"Nine times out of ten I will throw away my scraps, at dinnertime, afterwards," John Coates said while doing his weekly shopping.

Sara Jane Imahori is a preschool teacher who says she sees kids throw out large amounts of unwanted food at lunchtime every single day.

"In the garbage. We throw it out, because once someone has touched it you can't give it to somebody else, so it ends up in the garbage," she said.

Some local restaurants and retailers are trying to curb that. Budwey's in Kenmore donates their day-old baked goods to local charities.

"It helps those that are in need that maybe can't afford some of these things sometimes, and it allows us to pass on some food that is still fine for consumption and doesn't put us in a position to just throw it out," store manager Gary Gromlovits said.

But for other establishments that don't donate, the USDA is trying to ease restrictions on what can or cannot be donated. And that is good news for Stuart Harper and the Buffalo City Mission.

"This could be tremendously beneficial to the entire community and soup kitchens around the United States," Harper said.

More donations mean less money the City Mission has to spend feeding up to 1000 people three meals everyday.

"It just would allow us to reach out to more people to provide, continue to fund our program," Harper added.

For more information on the new initiative, check out food waste