The Good, the Bunny and the Money is our monthly take on the latest impactful success stories from across the U.S. and around the World.
'🌱 The Good' looks at nonprofits leading the way in impactful change;
'💰 The Money' takes a dive into the private-sector champions driving financial inclusion & economic development; and
'🐰 The Bunny' showcases the most promising collaborations between nonprofits and businesses working hand in hand for the People and the Planet.
The impact of the pandemic on food security is just starting to become clear. According to FeedingAmerica there are now an estimated 42 million people who are food insecure, up from 35 million before the pandemic. In a nation where we grow enough food, and we waste enough food, the key question is how can we make sure that food gets to the people that need it the most. In this month's edition we take a look at some of the key players fighting food insecurity.
🌱 The Good: Free food forests offer an oasis in US food deserts
The Problem: Around 1 in 8 people in central Atlanta live in food deserts – regions where access to fresh food is limited because the nearest grocery stores are 6+ miles away. These residents rely on food from convenience stores and fast-food chains leaving them vulnerable to hunger and obesity. These disparities disproportionately affect BIPOC communities.
The solution: Enter a non-profit partnership between Trees Atalanta, the Conservation Fund and US Forest Service. Together, they transformed seven acres of land into the country’s largest free food forest. The edible space consists of 2,500 pesticide free, low-maintenance and edible plants providing a year round food source for locals in need.
The halo effect: As well as increasing access to food, the forests have been a valuable tool to foster community spirit and upskill residents in urban agriculture and healthy eating.
💰 The Money: How US-based Startup is helping farmers prosper
The problem: Many farmers from emerging economies, crucial to food supply in the US, are unable to prove their existence in the supply chain, as a result, they can’t open a bank account and to get paid fairly.
The Solution: US-based startup, BanQu, aims to end this financial exclusion using non-cryptocurrency blockchain-based software to give anyone across the value chain a record of farmers' work history. The application ensures every transaction throughout the supply chain is recorded - providing farmers with the crucial evidence required by banks (find out more about how BanQu works here).
Making waves: The platform is now active in more than 40 countries which translates to BanQ processing over 300,000 pieces of goods every day and helping 600,000 food producers become part of the global economy.
Also check out our partner organisation Family Agriculture Resource Management Services (F.A.R.M.S.) who assist farmers & landowners to retain land for future use by next-generation farmers (see below)
🐰 The Bunny: Google, FoodFinder and No Kid Hungry helping connect people with free food in their time of need
Food insecurity impacts people from all walks of life — especially since the start of the pandemic. Still, the stigma associated with getting help can be a barrier for many. Google has just teamed up with FoodFinder and No Kid Hungry for the creation of a platform dubbed Find Food Support. The digital hub encompasses an array of resources for those who are battling hunger. The tool features a food bank locator that helps users find food pantries and meal programs within their local communities, information about SNAP benefits and food support hotlines. The ever-growing directory features 90,000 places across the country that offer free support, as well as nonprofits that are on a mission to eradicate food insecurity.
🥕 What else we’re munching:
- New app using ridesharing technology to fight food insecurity
- How US pantries are exploring pathways to better nutrition
- Chicago’s food bank is redefining itself as a community organiser
- Why the Restaurant Workers Community Foundation want to rebuild the restaurant industry