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Tea Leaves

'Lost food' project shows developing Asia how to tackle hunger

Small idea with big impact gives hope and nutrition for Malaysia's poor, and lessons for the world

Volunteers at the Lost Food Project sort fresh produce at a warehouses before sending the food out to charity partners. (Photos by the Lost Food Project)

The motto of the Lost Food Project, "Feed the hungry, not the landfill," stopped me in my tracks the first time I saw it. It was earlier this year, at the tail end of Malaysia's coronavirus lockdown, and I was looking for ways to contribute to worthy causes in my adopted country. "Feed the landfill" -- what did it mean?

As it turned out, this innovative Malaysian nonprofit group based in Kuala Lumpur aims to "rescue" food that typically gets lost -- thrown as waste into environmentally polluting landfills -- and use it to feed the needy.

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