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App that fights food waste links Austinites with local businesses

As Central Texans grapple with inflation and cut back on their spending, the Too Good to Go app offers unsold food at a third of the retail price.

AUSTIN, Texas — Here in the U.S., we have more than enough food to eat but, unfortunately, we throw a lot of it out. 

According to Feeding America, Americans waste 108 billion pounds of food every year. That equates to 130 billion meals, $408 billion in wasted food and 40% of what Americans eat annually.

Food waste is also linked to changes in the environment. When you throw out food, you're also throwing out the chemicals and energy used to make the food, its packaging and more. It intensifies the amount of greenhouse gases in the environment, which leads to a domino effect in the potential for extreme weather events. 

Launched in Austin less than a year ago, app Too Good to Go connects consumers with surplus goods from restaurants, bakeries, cafes and groceries stores at the end of each business day, highlighting food items that might otherwise go to waste, all offered at a third of the retail price.

Users are supporting local businesses by giving them a sustainable channel to distribute their unsold food at closing time.

Local food businesses offer up "Surprise Bags" filled with unsold meals and ingredients for $4 to $6.

The surprise is you never know what you're going to get because it's filled with products the business had too much of. Users just go on the app and order the bag and pick a time to pick it up. 

Meteorologist Shane Hinton and I opened our "Surprise Bags" on air with goodies from:

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