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Grocery store reduces waste while saving families money

Food Cupboard (KHGI)

The USDA reports American's throw away approximately 161 billion dollars worth of food a year, blaming food dates for some of this waste.

Food product dating is not required by federal regulations and dates are not and indicator of the product's safety, but rather quality, reports the USDA.

Food Cupboard of Hastings and Grand Island works to minimize this waste while saving families a significant amount of money.

"We as a country throw away forty percent of our food supply into land waste," said Food Cupboard owner, John Walz. "This is good product, there's absolutely nothing wrong with it and we're disposing of it, and its wasteful."

Food Cupboard is working to minimize waste by selling past date or slightly damaged goods.

"When we first opened there were people that were, they were, they were irate that we had product out that was postdated but people didn't understand that the dating is just randomly generated," said Walz.

According to the FDA, stores can sell foods past the expiration date...as long as it is fit for consumption.

"We're inspected, we've got the same inspector as any other food establishment here," said Walz.

Walz and his family opened their stores after years of shopping at similar ones in other states.

"My wife and I have 10 kids, and if it wasn't for these stores, I don't know where we'd be right now," said Walz.

Now, other community members are thankful for this money saving opportunity.

"I think I save a lot," said Food Cupboard customer, Amy Sullivan. "I have a pretty close budget that I watch and so I only allow so much money a week for groceries, that's why I come here first, that way I can check off those items before I go to another store. If they have them here there's just that much more money in my pocket.

The Hastings address and hours can be found here, and the Grand Island location and hours can be found here.

To follow this story and all of Jessica Stevenson's local news coverage, you can find her on facebook and twitter.

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