Parking Lot Potato

The potato in the parking lot.

This is THE potato, in the parking lot.

By Lynette Johnson *

Wandering into a local discount store last weekend, I found a lone red potato in the parking lot. Probably it fell out of a shopper’s bag, but why did it stay on the asphalt?

Was it too much trouble to pick up?
Was it simply overlooked?
Did the buyer think it was “bad” because it hit the ground?
According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), 25% of the food we purchase, we end up throwing away. Whether we’ve over-purchased or under-consumed, that’s a lot of food to toss out!

Wasting food puts a big dent in our wallets, too. For every $80 you spend at the grocery store, you’ve simply thrown away a $20 bill… Do it every week for a year, and you’ve just put $1,000 in the shredder. Crazy!

A new Public Service Announcement venture between the NRDC and the Ad Council reminds us that even more than your dollars and mine are wasted when we throw good food away: all the inputs that go into growing, processing, packaging, and transporting that food go to waste, too. Water and fuel, use of land and labor… that’s a lot to waste!

I picked up that red potato and took it home, with permission from the store. It’s not going to waste!

* Lynette Johnson is SoSA’s Director of Church Relations


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In the event I, or a registered family member, suffers any illness or accident requiring emergency hospitalization, medication, or other medical assistance while participating in a gleaning event, permission is given for any medical treatment which is deemed necessary and reasonable under the circumstances. I fully understand and comprehend that reasonable care will be exercised by the adult staff for this gleaning event to protect the safety of those involved. I understand that the field supervisor’s instructions must be followed at all times, and that I am responsible for any damages caused to fields, farms, or equipment by me/my family members not following these instructions.

Photos, videos, and other images in which I, or a registered family member, appear that are taken during gleanings may be used by the Society of St. Andrew for news coverage, newsletters, reports, displays, and for other print, broadcast, web, or electronic news or promotional purposes.

I do not hold the board, members, or employees of the Society of St. Andrew (SoSA,) or any volunteers liable for injury, bodily harm, accidents, or death of myself/my child during events sponsored by the Society of St. Andrew. Neither will I hold the person(s) who owns and/or operates the property from which we glean, salvage, or to which we deliver food, liable for accidents, injury, or death during the gleanings or other SoSA events.

For a PDF print version of this waiver, click here.

How the Story of the 12 Baskets is Connected to SoSA’s Name

Matthew 14:16-21

But Jesus said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds, and they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children.

2 Kings 4:42-44

[…]the man of God […] said, “Give them to the people that they may eat.” His attendant said, “What, will I set this before a hundred men?” But he said, “Give them to the people that they may eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left over.’” So he set it before them, and they ate and had some left over, according to the word of the Lord.

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