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Why Food Waste Matters on Memorial Day

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

American flag

Memorial Day is an annual holiday celebrated on the last Monday in May. Originally known as Decoration Day, it began in the years following the US Civil War. By the late 1860’s towns and cities began to hold springtime tributes to the fallen soldiers. In 1971, the day became an official US holiday.[1]

Memorial Day also represents the informal beginning of summer. As people begin to plan celebrations it is important to make sure that food waste is minimized.

Activity Duty and Military Food Insecurity

Activity duty military members and their families face unexpected challenges. The limited wages, high cost of living, financial commitments, and job instability faced by active-duty partners contribute to the suspected 125,000 active-duty military members who are food insecure. [2]

Additionally, “11.1 percent of working-age veterans lived in food-insecure households, and 5.3 percent lived in households with very low food security.”[3]

How to Reduce Waste

Reducing waste is easy!

  1. Plan your menu and portion sizes, then make your list.

  2. Shop your pantry and fridge before you go to the store.

  3. Buy only what you need at the store.

  4. Store prepared foods after one hour to keep them fresh and safe.

  5. Leftovers are delicious and can be enjoyed the same day or within the next couple of days.

  • Remember to prepare foods as needed - don’t put out more than people will eat at one time.

  • Remember to keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

Chart of tips to stop food waste

How to Serve Military Families

If you’re looking for an opportunity to serve military families, contact your local VFW or Veterans Affairs office. They will be happy to have your support.

[1] (History Channel, 2022) [2] (Abbie Wilson, 2021) [3] (Richardson, 2021)

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