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Raley's Hopes To Reduce Food Waste With New Produce Program

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Raley's is working to take a bite out of food waste with a new program that will get more produce to consumers at a better price.

A bruised or nicked piece of fruit or a misshapen vegetable often doesn't make it to store shelves.

"A lot of the food we grow in America is wasted—almost 40 percent is wasted in various ways," said Meg Burritt said.

The director of wellness and sustainability at Raley's wanted to solve that problem.

"I fgured we have this problem with food waste, we have this problem with food insecurity, let's figure out how we can use our retail vehicle for good and connect the two," she said.

Currently many markets, including Raley's, pride themselves on good looking produc. Those that don't make the grade get tossed.

"If it doesn't fit a perfect standard that's established with the USDA in conjunction with growers then it sometimes will be either used to make applesauce if it's an imperfect apple or sometimes it will go straight to the landfill," she said.

Hoping to come up with a solution to that waste, Raley's is now partnering another company, Imperfect Produce, starting a pilot program called "Real Good" produce to get edible, but not so pretty, food to customers.

"If we can bring in a lower-priced produce that's being wasted, that's just being thrown in the garbage and offer that to these people so they can have more fruits and veggies in their lives it seems like a win-win," she said.

Raley's will buy the produce from the grower who may not have had a buyer and display it in its own section at a lower price, The chain hopes customers see the value.

The program will begin in Mid-July in certain stores the company hasn't identified.

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