You may have heard about the peculiar confluence of food insecurity and waste during the pandemic. More people in the United States and elsewhere are dependent on food banks and other supplemental sources of nutrition. At the same time, farmers have had to leave some food in the fields to rot because there is no market – restaurants, grocery store distributors – to sell to.
When I first saw that food left in the fields while people were hungry, I was both enraged and depressed But I had no sense of how to remedy the situation. This story from 2020 touched on some suggestions. “Governments, as well as businesses, are buying excess food and redistributing it to food pantries and other places in need. In some areas, restaurants are buying bulk quantities of everyday ingredients, then selling it to their customers directly.”
Now, CBS Saturday Morning noted a newish non-profit is tackling the problem. The Farmlink Project has found a formula. “Some young people had a vision to shortcut the supply chain and directly link those food products with the people who need them most.” Here’s an April 2021 interview with co-founders James Kanoff and Aidan Reilly.
The group is actually addressing a multitude of issies with work. “Billions of pounds of produce are going to waste while millions of Americans are going hungry. Let’s change that.” And “according to the USDA, the prevalence of adult chronic conditions in food-insecure households are found to be 18 percent higher than those in food-secure households.
Not to mention: “Food-insecure students are more likely to get lower grades, have higher rates of absenteeism, repeat a grade, and struggle to focus in class due to hunger and malnutrition.”
But also “If food waste were a country, it would be the third-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.” Incidentally there’s a Farmlink Mexico. As the page says, “The problems of hunger and food waste are massive, but solvable. Join our community of givers to combat hunger and heal the planet.”
I should note that per Charity Navigator, Farmlink Project have not been scored by the organization, largely because it has under $200,000 in annual revenue. “The absence of a score does not indicate a positive or negative assessment, it only indicates that we have not yet evaluated this organization.” Yes, I sent them a little bit of money and might send more.