CHARLOTTE, N.C. — According to research from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food waste is estimated to be 30% to 40% of the food supply in the United States.

Food waste comes from people throwing away food because it has gone bad or someone just didn’t finish a meal. There is also food waste during packaging and processing. Also, it's food left in fields after a harvest.

The Society of St. Andrew is the largest and oldest gleaning organization in the United States. They take volunteers into fields after a harvest and pick the food that is left behind to send to food banks and charitable organizations.

Program coordinator for The Society of St. Andrew Jean Siers took a group of Girl Scouts to Barbee Farms in Concord to pick up peppers left from the last harvest.

“It’s based on the Old Testament imperative where God told the Hebrew people to leave something behind in the fields for the poor,” Siers said.

Girl Scout Troop 1460, their parents and other nonprofit volunteers picked 3,000 pounds of peppers during their hourlong gleaning session.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has a goal of reducing national food waste by 50% by 2030.