In our communities across the country, it’s estimated more than 42 million Americans face food insecurity, including 13 million children. A complex issue with a multitude of facets, food insecurity impacts people from all walks of life – from rural and urban areas, and across all ages and demographics. Some individuals may experience food insecurity for a few weeks, while others may experience it for a period of years. The unfortunate reality is many Americans are one missed paycheck, unforeseen medical bill, vehicle repair, or prolonged illness away from not being able to adequately nourish their loved ones. This systemic issue was exacerbated during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, when unemployment reached record levels. The impact is still being felt by millions of our friends, neighbors, and family across the country today. (Source: FeedingAmerica.org/Hunger-In-America)
At Simply Organic, we believe good food should be within reach for everyone. So in 2018 the Simply Organic Giving Fund turned its focus to helping non-profit organizations across the US on the front lines of fighting systemic food insecurity in their communities. Our goal is to support these organizations as they identify and implement innovative solutions to provide access to healthy, organic food options to individuals in need. Since that time, we have contributed over $400,000 toward this important work.
The impact of COVID-19 on food insecurity
Because of the economic implications of the pandemic, in the last year millions of Americans experienced food insecurity for the very first time. This presented a tremendous challenge for our non-profit partners as they struggled to meet such an unprecedented increase in demand for their services. Additionally, these organizations were forced to adjust all of their logistical operations to continue to distribute food while keeping their staff, volunteers, and clients safe. In response to this increased need, the Simply Organic Giving Fund provided an additional $25,000 to our 2020 partners to help them through this difficult time. But the struggle against food insecurity in our country is far from over. That’s why in 2021 we increased our annual funding by 50 percent, to $150,000..
You can help too
While 42 million people in the U.S. face food insecurity every day, a staggering 40% of our food in this country is wasted and sent to landfill. So, in addition to providing funding for these non-profit partners, we have committed to helping connect our member owners this year with hunger relief agencies in their area through the MEANS Database (Matching Excess and Need for Stability). MEANS is a nationwide food recovery program dedicated to feeding the hungry and eliminating food waste. Their innovative online database connects stores, farmers, and restaurants with local food pantries to get excess food to those who need it – and keep it out of the dumpster.
By utilizing our network of tens of thousands of member-owners like you, we know our co-op can make a difference in the fight against food insecurity across the country. A sustainable food system is critical to all of our health, and we each have a role to play in making that system better. If you’re ready to make a difference in your community, sign up with MEANS Database and donate your excess food products to a non-profit near you.
How does it work?
Step 1: Retailers sign up to be part of the MEANS Database network.
Step 2: When you have excess product to be donated, you enter the information into the database about what type of product you have available and how much of it you have to donate.
Step 3: Non-profits in your area get a notice about the product and come pick it up, free of charge.
Step 4: You get a tax deduction and the comfort of knowing your food waste didn’t end up polluting our environment. Instead, individuals in your community are able to nourish their families because of your donated product.
Join the 3,000+ partners who have already signed up for the MEANS Database, or reach out to their team for any questions at email@example.com. Not a retailer? Consumers interested in fighting food insecurity and food waste can help by encouraging their local co-op or grocery to become a MEANS donor. Share this article with family, friends, or businesses you love.
- On average it takes fewer than 30 minutes to connect donors with providers, and less than an hour for donations to be claimed
- To date, there are over 3,000 partners on the MEANS Database who have collectively saved more than 3 million pounds of food
- Signing up and donating product is totally free!
Simply Organic Giving Fund applications for the 2022 calendar year will be accepted beginning July 2021 through September 2021. U.S. and Canada-based nonprofit (501(c)(3)) tax-exempt organizations that promote access to healthy, organic food options and strive to develop innovative new ways of addressing food insecurity are encouraged to apply. Find more information and a link to the online application at www.simplyorganic.com.