Hunger in the United States doesn’t look the way you think it does. Despite America being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, one out of six children faces hunger, and the number of seniors facing hunger has doubled since 2001. Many food-insecure individuals (one out of four, to be exact) cannot even qualify for most federal nutrition programs. As a country, we have made great strides in a lot of areas. But there is still a lot of work to be done when it comes to hunger.
Feeding America is the largest national hunger relief organization in the country. We support a network of 200 food banks that helps 46.5 million people each year get the meals they need. We believe -- and know -- that providing food to people in need will help us create a better nation.
We also know that hunger is complex. If a family is struggling to get enough to eat, they are often struggling in other areas of their lives. Housing, medical care, transportation, other necessities...it all piles up and creates what can feel like an insurmountable challenge. By helping families consistently put meals on their tables, we can help them rebuild their lives instead of worrying about hunger. Food is the first step.
It’s important to everyone at Feeding America that our work doesn’t just focus on tackling hunger today. While the immediate impact of hunger is undeniable, we also want to bridge the urgency of today with long-term solutions. So we ask ourselves questions like: If 20 billion pounds of fresh produce is wasted every year in the United States, how can we get that produce onto the shelves of food pantries? If 21 percent of landfill volume in the United States is food waste, how do we keep that food on people’s tables and out of the trash can?
We’re proud to partner with Land O’Lakes and The Copernicus Project. Modern problems like hunger require modern solutions and tough conversations that leave no stone or solution unturned. Like so many challenges in the world, talking and learning about it are always important ways to begin.
That’s why for every instance the hashtag #copernicusproject is used, Land O’Lakes will donate one meal (the equivalent of 1.2 pounds of food) to a person in need through the Feeding America network of food banks.*
It’s just one more actionable way to keep conversations about our food systems across the globe moving forward.
Catherine Davis is the CMO at Feeding America.
*From 3/8/2019 to 3/10/2019 at SXSW, each original post tagged with #copernicusproject to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, Land O’Lakes will donate the equivalent of one meal to Feeding America. According to the USDA, one meal is equivalent to 1.2 pounds of food. Maximum donation of 50,000 meals or 60,000 pounds of food.