Lee County’s inaugural food-rescue campaign diverted 3,771 pounds of food from potential disposal.
The unopened food pantry items were donated to Harry Chapin Food Bank. The campaign exceeded the goals by 89 percent.
The campaign, conducted by Lee County Solid Waste in partnership with the Harry Chapin Food Bank, Waste Pro, FOX4, the Lee County Library System and Lee County Parks & Recreation, encouraged seasonal residents and visitors to donate sealed surplus pantry items before returning north.
Nationwide, Americans throw out about 30 percent of the available food supply. In Lee County, 13 percent, or 70,000 tons, of the waste stream is food, according to a 2016 waste audit.
The campaign partners anticipate making it an annual event.