Feeding America

Transforming food rescue to feed hungry people and protect the Highly Ranked

Food aid

Feeding America will elevate its annual food rescue to 5 billion pounds by 2025 to alleviate hunger for 40 million people and mitigate climate change.

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

Climate change threatens food security, yet food waste is responsible for 8% of global emissions. America wastes 72 billion pounds of food each year, while 40 million people in our country struggle with hunger. Reducing food waste can mitigate climate change and feed hungry people but change at scale requires dramatic acceleration of food rescue. Feeding America’s network of 200 foodbanks annually rescues 3.5 billion pounds of food that otherwise would be wasted. We will scale our rescue up to 5 billion pounds by 2025 by building technology-enabled regional food-sourcing hubs to source nutritious foods with high carbon intensity, especially protein and dairy. To distribute food more equitably, we will use predictive data to identify the most vulnerable populations facing hunger and reach them through innovative last-mile delivery. This project will put us on a long-term path to eliminate hunger and mitigate climate change through avoided carbon emissions.

Problem Statement

Climate change threatens food security and yet wasted food is responsible for 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. If food waste were a country, it would be the third highest emitter after the U.S. and China. More than 40 million Americans struggle with hunger while the U.S. wastes more than 72 billion pounds of pre-consumer food each year. Reducing food waste can mitigate climate change and feed hungry people but change at scale will require a dramatic acceleration of food rescue. By increasing our food rescue from 3.5 billion pounds of salvageable food waste to 5 billion pounds annually by 2025, Feeding America (FA) will make a deep impact on the breadth of hunger in the U.S.FA provides food to anyone struggling with hunger, but we are committed to equity, prioritizing communities who most need our help. Growing our food rescue will help (1) increase the depth of our reach to current clients who need elevated assistance and (2) reduce barriers to access for approximately 5 million food insecure people not yet served. Our current food rescue of 3.5 billion pounds has an estimated carbon footprint of 11.3 billion kg CO2 per year. To maximize our impact on the climate, we will prioritize growth of high-demand food channels with the greatest carbon intensity: animal protein and dairy products. With this approach, our target of 5 billion pounds will increase avoided emissions to more than 18 billion kg CO2 per year, the emissions equivalent of more than 3.8 million cars.

Solution Overview

Feeding America (FA) will elevate its annual food rescue from 3.5 billion pounds to 5 billion by 2025. We will leverage our powerful network and partners to: •Transform our Technology platform, connecting foodbanks to each other through Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and connecting foodbanks to food donors through our digital tool MealConnect •Elevate Sourcing capacity to rescue an additional 1.5 billion pounds of food from the following channels: oMeat and Dairy Products (650m pounds): FA is partnering with the Rockefeller Foundation to pilot animal protein rescue from processing plants and U.S. ports of entry. FA will establish regional clean rooms to process salvageable bulk meat, package it for foodbanks, and distribute it across the network. FA will grow our partnership with the U.S. Dairy Council and others to increase our capture and delivery of fresh milk. oProduce (500m pounds): In consultation with its Food Security Council, FA is working to consolidate eight regional produce cooperatives into five regional Agri-Sourcing Hubs, facilitating forward planning, bolstering perishable food sourcing capacity, contracting transportation more efficiently, and delivering excess food from ag-rich regions to resource challenged areas. oDry goods (350m pounds): FA will work with grocery retail partners to optimize rescue of salvageable product by instituting tech-enhanced pickup planning and adding evening or weekend pickup capacity.•Deliver food via Equitable Programs, by strengthening our client data tracking platform Service Insights to identify the most vulnerable populations and optimizing food delivery through innovative interventions like online or mobile

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