Today, food insecurity rates in America are holding steady at the highest levels ever. With a strong economy and low unemployment, how could that be? Hunger is no longer a problem that only affects the impoverished. Millions of Americans struggle to feed their families because of underemployment, stagnant wages and the rising costs of living.
Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization comprised of a network of 200 food banks from coast to coast. By its count, more than 46 million people (including 12 million children and 7 million seniors) rely on the Feeding America network for extra support.
With the face of hunger changing, Feeding America is changing its approach to keep up with demand. Making fresh foods available at food banks and pantries isn’t anything new. But, now Feeding America is testing new ways to put more fresh foods on plates before it is thrown away.
Previously, many local food programs would make regular stops at local food businesses to pick up fresh foods that would otherwise be discarded. Now, restaurants, grocery stores and other food businesses can post a list of available food items on an automated platform, Meal Connect.
The site then determines which local food bank or food pantry is best-placed to receive the donations, and automatically texts a volunteer to pick up and deliver the food, same day.
MealConnect has already rescued more than 1 billion pounds of food and has also engaged community members for more timely retrieval and delivery. Find out more at Feeding America