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The waste of food

November 19, 2020

Care for our common home has become urgent yet remains controversial

2015 – LAUDATO SI’

About $1 trillion worth of food is wasted each year, yet 820 million people go hungry and 144 million children experience stunted growth.  The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) indicates that reversing the food waste trend could provide enough food to feed 2 billion people.

But Covid-19 circumstances are threatening worse hunger.  UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said in June that the world’s food systems are failing, exacerbated by the pandemic and disruption to food supply chains.  “Unless immediate action is taken,” he said, “ it is increasingly clear that there is an impending global food emergency that could have long term impacts on hundreds of millions of children and adults.”

When they were filled, Jesus said to His disciples, “Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost.”

So, they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

(John 6 12-13)

The Sisters … discern their real needs, their use of goods and of the earth’s resources, their life-style and their duties of justice and charity.

DC Statutes 16a


  • For those who have control over their food:  Keep a food diary for one week.  Note what kinds of food you might have thrown away, how much, and why you discarded it.  Reflect upon what you have learned from this experience and how it might link with the Daughters of Charity sense of justice.
  • For those who do not have control over their food:   Consider offering this prayer—“O God, help those who have an abundance to share their food with the hungry, so that all may receive their daily bread, experience proper nutrition, benefit from good health, and attain the fullness of life which You desire for all of humanity.  We pray this in Jesus’ name. AMEN

It will do us good to stop for a while and think about the hungry children.  Think of children in countries at war; the starving children of Yemen, the starving children of Syria. The starving children of so many countries where there is no bread.  The children of South Sudan.

Pope Francis 27 March 20

Let us pause and say together ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’  Let us get this into our head: it is not my bread, it is our bread.’

Pope Francis 27 March 20