The dichotomy of hunger

Whether it’s lack of fresh food or food waste, CEA companies could lead the charge in decreasing hunger in America.

Some 39 million people in the U.S. were living in low-income and low-access areas, according to the USDA’s most recent food access research report, published in 2017. Imagine how much that has grown in the years since. And within this group, researchers estimated that 19 million people had limited access to a supermarket or grocery store. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, several factors contribute to food deserts, including: transportation challenges preventing residents from traveling longer distances to buy groceries; communities populated by smaller corner stores, convenience markets and fast food vendors limit healthy food options; investment risk of opening a supermarket; and income inequality.

While millions of people are affected by food deserts, we confoundedly waste up to 40% of all edible food in this country, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. And this stat floored me: if we wasted just 15% less food, it would be enough to feed 25 million Americans. Let’s be real — 15% is absolutely obtainable. The NRDC also reports that food waste costs $165 billion per year, and more than $40 billion is from households.

If you haven’t listened to Goodr founder Jasmine Crowe’s Ted Talk or interviews on NPR, take a few minutes to hear her story. Goodr reports that every year in the United States, 54 million people are suffering from food insecurity. The idea for Goodr was born from the notion that if on-demand drivers can be used to deliver food orders from restaurants, she could use similar technology and logistics to repurpose edible surplus food. After six years, Goodr has grown into a full-scale waste management and hunger relief company that provides food to millions and redirects millions of pounds of waste away from landfills. Goodr partnered with Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport and its 100 restaurants to significantly lower their food waste. The result? The airport has donated more than 130,000 meals to local food insecure citizens and diverted more than 157,000 pounds of food from the landfill.

CEA companies are poised to reverse these numbers and get more people fed and erase food deserts. Starting on page 8, find out how hunger was the impetus for developing Eden Green Technology. Besides their growing technology, Eden Green also reserves up to 10% of their daily leafy green harvests for local donations.

Kelli Rodda, editorial director | krodda@gie.net
February 2023
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