A program to redistribute would-be wasted food to people in need in Montgomery County may cost $200,000 to get off the ground, The Gazette newspaper reported.
County Councilwoman Valerie Ervin (D-Silver Spring) proposed the "food recovery" program last October. Inspired by the work of two Montgomery County students attending the University of Maryland, the program would collect unused food from events and businesses, and redistribute the food to hungry people.
A work group made up of government and school officials and representatives from local food banks, grocery store chains and nonprofits was established to study the feasibility of such a program last November.
The group presented an interim report to the council's health and human services committee Monday, telling the committee that the money would be needed to figure out who has extra food and who might need the food, the newspaper reported.
Councilman George Leventhal (D-At Large) asked that the group find out whether food recovery is actually cheaper than buying new food.
“Like everyone, we don’t want to see waste. On the other hand, this is a lot of effort to recover food,” he said. “I’m not saying it’s a bad effort — I think it’s a good effort — but we do have to do some cost-benefit analysis.”