Amy Koughan has been a freelance photographer for many years. She makes her home in Southern California, where she is also an active member in a nonprofit called Feed Los Angeles.
She says that there is an estimated seventy billion pounds of food that goes to waste in the United States every year, and at the same time millions of Americans who deal with what is called food insecurity every day. And she says these are heartbreaking statistics she wants to influence for the better in whatever way she can.
“Up for forty percent of the food that is grown, processed and transported in this country is never consumed,” she said, citing government statistics. “Not only that, wasted food can actually become an environmental threat. Food that ends up in a landfill just rots, and in time becomes a significant source of methane. Methane is a greenhouse gas that has twenty-one times the global warming potential that carbon dioxide does.”
But it is far more important to get food that would otherwise be wasted to people who would otherwise go hungry, she says. “And I’d rather be a part of the solution than be a part of the problem.” Last year, Feed Los Angeles was able to divert some ten million pounds of safe and edible food that would otherwise have gone to waste, and get it to local food banks.
As a photographer, Amy Koughan said she felt it was her duty to document the Feed Los Angeles program in images.