Demand for good food
About 10 percent of Americans meet the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) definition of food insecurity: lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life.
That feels light.
For a family of three, the poverty line used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in federal fiscal year 2023 is $1,920 a month. That’s about $23,000 a year. If you earn more than 130 percent of the poverty line for a family of three, $29,940, you won’t qualify for food assistance.
Let’s say you have that family of three and earn $2,495 a month. Assume rent is $1,000 a month. That leaves $1,495. If you have a car payment, utilities bills, including phone and cable — any bills — where in the United States can you live on $1,495 a month?
A Feed America study found that when people need to spread their food budgets, 79% buy inexpensive and/or unhealthy food. That typically means they are high in fat, calories and sugar to keep you full.
That’s why people who are foo insecure are morel likely to have diabetes. The wrong food makes you sick.
Malnourished kids are morel likely to have asthma and anemia and to be hyper-active and aggressive.
Embarrassment of riches
40% of food in The United States is wasted
The 100,000-person Rose Bowl can be filled twice daily with wasted food
$408 billion/year of food is wasted
Grocery stores hate empty shelves
We don’t want to buy spotty fruit and vegetables, so out it goes, even though it’s perfectly good.
Many think it is illegal to donate food. It’s not.
We send food to the dump where converts to methane gas, which helps warm the planet making the climate change … more storms, droughts and unseasonably high temperatures are the new norm.
The Food Connection gets prepared meals from catered events, university cafeteria, retirement communities, buffets, caterers, conference centers
They prepare more food than they use because they can’t run out of food at their events, but don’t know how much people are going to eat.
Guests can’t take leftovers because they don’t have refrigerators in their rooms or they are traveling, so the food will spoil.
The food preparers don’t want them to take the food anyway because they don’t want someone to get sick and blame the venue.
Food Connection delivers it in meal form to people who don’t have enough to eat
Non-profits like the Salvation Army, Veterans Restoration, Western North Carolina Rescue Mission
Curbside pick-up in a local community on Saturday mornings,
After school programs
Hot, individual, pound to pound-and-a-half pound meals that include a protein, starch and vegetable
Menu, including at least one vegan option
Music to make it feel fun
Access to fresh food is a human right
People can just show up. They don’t have to prove eligibility — no paperwork.
The nicely dressed with decent cars eat. There is a reason they are there.
Food Connection Customers — 200 meals in 15 min minutes at curbside location
Higher percentage of people of color
Apologetic people who never thought they’d need a free meal
Not getting paid enough to afford food because they can’t afford the cost of living
Inflation hits food prices
Care for extended family
Kids eat a lot
Give away food
Advocate for food to go to someone who needs it.
Be mindful. The government makes it hard to for food-insecure people to be eligible for government programs. How can people afford good food when they can’t pay their own bills and get to the store?
Ask the potential food sources you visit all the time what they do with extra food, e.g. weddings, reunions, birthdays, buffets, other catered events.
Provide financial support to local groups distributing food to people who can’t afford decent meals
Identify distribution points, churches, community centers and elsewhere and ask them to look for groups like food connection to deliver food to them