I saw this waste personally when I was working on my Masters in Guelph. My major project at the time was to look at if there are differences between homeless youth in smaller cities/towns versus larger cities like Toronto. I interviewed a number of amazing youth. One girl that stood out for me declared herself a professional "dumpster diver." She had left home for a variety of reasons and had found she could actually get better quality food from the dumpsters behind grocery stores than what she could get from many food banks and soup kitchens.
"I can really get anything I want if I'm willing to wait and it's always in really good condition." She explained to me. Perfectly good food was being shipped out of stores because it had past some arbitrary deadline or wasn't in mint condition anymore and was being tossed in piles into the back dumpsters.
She then went on to tell me how a soup kitchen in another town had closed one month and many hungry people were left with no options. So her solution was to dumpster dive with her friends and through the help of a generous friend who had a house they were able to feed all 200 people from the soup kitchen each day for a month just using the dumpster food. And it was good quality! They were preparing fresh fruits, vegetables, potatoes...all perfectly good food that was going to rot in the trash.
And this happens everyday!
I've posted the video on my facebook page. If you want to see more great little videos like this one be sure to follow me on there.