I’m not surprised by what you’ve written, Andreana. The same thing happens all over the developed world.
In fact, there is at least one charity in the US that collects this just barely expired food, food in imperfect packages, apples or potatoes that are the wrong size or color, delicious oranges with ugly skins, etc., and it takes it by the truckload down to Appalachia and gives it to very needy families.
It’s true that in Western countries there’s more of a problem with overeating than with hunger. There was an interview one time on TV here in which they went to a charity food distribution center and asked the people in line what kinds of things they had at home. They nearly all had cars, they all had TVs, radios, CD players and DVD players, among other luxuries. Most of our poor would be middle class in most countries.
Just because they have enough food, though, it doesn’t mean they eat the right stuff. A friend of mine lived in a poor neighborhood for several years, and at Christmas he and his girlfriend put some cakes, cookies and fruit out on a table and brought the local kids in to help themselves. They thought the kids would go for the cookies, but instead – in what looked almost like an involuntary physical reaction – they made a beeline for the fruit and gorged themselves on it. They ate enough fruit for a month in just one afternoon. Their moms can afford fruit, but never think of buying fruit, and the kids’ bodies just knew they needed it.
I’ve often read economists claim that the world raises enough food to feed everyone adequately, and that the hunger problem is all about distribution. Sometimes food is held off the market to keep the prices up. Sometimes it spoils en route because of a bad transportation infrastructure (a problem in India, they say). Then there are cases where a government really does want people to starve, such as when Stalin removed the food from Ukraine and killed 15 million people. A more recent example came in the 1980s, when people all over the West gave millions for famine relief in Ethiopia, only to find that the Ethiopian government refused to let it be distributed. They were starving the people in certain parts of the country on purpose. They even sold food to Egypt at that time. A lot of the food spoiled on the docks.