Food Insecurity in the News: Community Plates in Ohio, Celebrity Chefs Transform Wasted Olympic Food, The 6 Stages of Food Waste

Our recent reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Community Plates: Closing The Hunger Gap With an App via

4X1A5791-10-e1471274086478Community Plates offers a streamlined solution to a complex problem: plenty of restaurants have extra food and ingredients at the end of the day, but no practical way to deliver them consistently to organizations that can put them to good use. Improvised and ad hoc solutions tend to fail or fall short over time—like a well-intentioned machine, just not a well-oiled one. Every microwave oven on the planet has a button for popcorn, yet we still lack the technology to redirect food destined for the dumpster to folks who are hungry.

Read the full story on


Celebrity Chefs Turn Wasted Olympics Food Into Meals for Homeless via

Consider what it takes to keep all those Olympian machines nourished and hydrated for one meal at the Rio Games: 250 tons of raw ingredients to fill the bellies of 18,000 athletes, coaches and officials in the Olympic Village.

Now multiply that figure by three — for breakfast, lunch and dinner — and again for each day of the Games.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the Italian chef Massimo Bottura also did the math and was inspired, not by the tantalizing dimensions of herculean consumption but by the prospect of colossal waste.

Read the full story on the


From Field to Fork: The Six Stages of Wasting Food via The Guardian

watermelonEvery second, an amount of food equal to the weight of a sedan car is thrown away in the US – about 60m tons a year. It starts at the farm. The potato that grew to the size of a brick. The watermelon with the brown slasher marks on the rind. The cauliflower stained yellow in the sun. The peach that lost its blush before harvest. Any of those minor imperfections – none of which affect taste or quality or shelf life – can doom a crop right there. If the grower decides the supermarkets – or ultimately the consumer – will reject it, those fruits and vegetables never make it off the farm.

Read the full story on


Europe Does Something Amazing With Food That Has Nothing To Do With Eating via The Huffington Post

The Italian government passed sweeping legislation this week that aims to drastically reduce the amount of food wasted in the country. The new laws make it easier for farms and supermarkets to donate unsold food and reward businesses that cut waste. The measures also encourage Italians to take restaurant leftovers home in doggy bags (something Italians, apparently, are loath to do).

Read the full story on Huffington Post.


National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week

This week is National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week, sponsored by National Coalition for the Homeless, a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to preventing and ending homelessness.

This social awareness movement is near and dear to our hearts at Community Plates as many of of our partner agencies in Connecticut, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Ohio provide support and resources for the homeless and directly benefit from our fresh food rescue and delivery.

If we can help your organization’s clients thrive with regular donations of fresh food, please let us know! Or become a food donor or volunteer food runner.

To get involved in this effort in your community, visit the National Coalition for the Homeless website and find an event near you.


#NHHAW Events by State

About National Hunger and Homeless Awareness Week

As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, people take time to consider what they’re thankful for and donate some of their time, attention and resources to others. In the spirit of thankfulness and giving, each year the National Coalition for the Homeless and the National Student Campaign against Hunger and Homelessness designate the week prior to Thanksgiving to sponsor the National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week. Last year during this week, more than 750 high schools, colleges, community groups and faith-based groups from cities across the United States came together to bring awareness to pressing issues: hunger and homelessness. As NCH enters its fourth decade, we seek to finish the long and difficult road to ending homelessness by solving the root causes of homelessness.

Food Insecurity in the News: “Wasted” Opportunities, U.S. Children & Poverty, New USDA Food App

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

Wasted Opportunities

When we think about the need to feed the hungry, we often think about increasing food production. As John Oliver’s scathing criticism of America’s food waste problem reminded us last week, this obsession with food quantity overshadows some of our food system’s more sinister realities. The fact that about a third of the food produced worldwide for human consumption is wasted is one of modern agriculture’s most embarrassing secrets. Producing all that wasted food accounts for up to 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a quarter of all water used for agriculture, an annual environmental cost of 750 billion USD, and a land area the size of Mexico. Meanwhile, close to a billion people suffer from chronic undernourishment.

Read the full story on Yale EPI.

Three year old Saria Amaya (L) waits with her mother after receiving shoes and school supplies during a charity event to help more than 4,000 underprivileged children at the Fred Jordan Mission in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles on October 2, 2014. Skid Row reportedly contains one of the largest populations of homeless people in the United States.                  AFP PHOTO/Mark RALSTON        (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)


More U.S. Children Live In Poverty Now Than During the Recession

In mid-September 2010, almost exactly two years to the date since the monumental collapse of Lehman Brothers, the New York Times published a bleak statistic: the ongoing Great Recession had driven the U.S. poverty rates to their highest in a decade and a half.

Five years of fitful economic recovery have not yet bettered this situation. According to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, more than one in five American children, about 22%, were living in poverty in 2013. Data for 2014 are not yet available, but the report anticipates that the child poverty rate remains at an “unacceptably high [level].”

Read the full story on

Modern Farmer: Spoiler Alert: New USDA App Helps Fight Food Waste 



The USDA estimates that 21 percent of food consumers buy goes to waste. It’s bad for our bodies, bad for our wallets, and bad for the planet. Instead of just telling us, the USDA released an app for iPhone and Android that it hopes will help solve the problem by sending us alerts when food is about to go bad.

Read the full story on Modern Farmer.

Community Plates Receives Grant from Near and Far Aid

$5000 Award Will Help Food Rescue Organization End Hunger in Fairfield County

Community Plates of Norwalk, CT has received an operational grant of $5,000 from Near & Far Aid. “We are so grateful to Near & Far Aid for funding innovation in the fight against hunger. This $5,000 grant allows us to rescue and deliver 100,000 meals to people in need in Fairfield County” said Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director for Community Plates.

Community Plates is committed to ending American Food Insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants, markets and other food industry sources, to food insecure families.

Near & Far Aid is dedicated to eliminating the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County by finding and funding programs that provide life’s most basic necessities, as well as those that seek to achieve lasting change.

Kevin Mullins, Executive Director of Community Plates is excited about the shared mission between Community Plates and Near & Far Aid saying,

“This is a perfect partnership since Near & Far Aid funds programs focused on eliminating poverty in Fairfield County and we are focused on delivering almost 3,000,000 meals to food insecure people in Fairfield County this year. When people don’t have to scramble for food they are freed up to worry about other things on their hierarchy of needs.”

Madeleine Albright on Food Insecurity, Bangladesh as Model for U.S.?, Technology & Food Insecurity

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.


Private sector plays role in food security

dr-madeleine-k-albrightFood security is as much a moral and political issue as it is defined by markets and international agreements, and businesses have an important contribution to make by using their know-how to increase efficiency in the global agricultural market, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright said during the keynote address at AgriVision 2015, a conference that facilitates an informed discussion at a strategic level on current and future concerns in the protein food chain. 

Read more on Yahoo Finance


Cities Of Service Launches New “Community Tables” Blueprint To Support Municipalities To Provide Summer Meals To Youth In Need

The Cities of Service Community Tables blueprint is part of an anti-hunger initiative the ConAgra Foods Foundation will launch later this year to advance communities’ efforts to address hunger in their own backyards. The Community Tables blueprint outlines steps required for success and urges cities to work with citizen volunteers who can provide critical support to schools and community organizations by canvassing and performing outreach, helping to prepare and serve meals, and providing enrichment activities for children — so that more youth benefit from an important resource.

Read the full story on MarketWatch.


A Look Inside Boston’s New ‘Expired’ Food Supermarket

ht_expired_supermarket_02_mm_150624_16x9_992“At the lower economic rungs particularly, people are forced into bad decisions due to economics because calories are cheap and nutrients are expensive. The foundation of Daily Table was to try to figure out how on earth do we deliver to these one in six Americans an affordable, nutritious diet?” Rauch said. “And the obvious answer was, ‘Well, why don’t we try to utilize some of this excess food which we can get donated that’s perfectly wholesome and healthy?’”

Read the full story on Yahoo News.


From famine to food basket: how Bangladesh became a model for reducing hunger

bangladeshA recent UN report on global hunger highlights Bangladesh – a onetime food basket case – for having cut chronic hunger by more than half since 2000. 

Four decades ago, the newly formed and desperately poor South Asian nation of Bangladesh saw its already-high levels of extreme poverty and chronic hunger skyrocket with floods, leading to the Bangladesh famine of 1974. 

Read the full story on the Christian Science Monitor.



Apps and Maps Harnessed to Address Food Insecurity

This is the story of how two different nonprofits are adapting a technology framework to reduce food insecurity. 1Family 1Restaurant (1F1R) in California has created a web-based mobile app to connect restaurants to individual food bank donors to feed insecure families. The other nonprofit, Capital Area Food Bank in D.C., is utilizing data mapping to find hungry families that are in the greater suburban area. According to statistics on the 1F1R site, one in six people in America may feel the impact of food insecurity.

Read the full story on Non Profit Quarterly.

Community Plates Receives Operational Grant from First County Bank Foundation

For the second year in a row, Community Plates of Norwalk, CT has received a $5,000 operational grant from First County Bank Foundation.

Community Plates is committed to ending American Food Insecurity by directly transferring fresh, usable food that would have otherwise been thrown away from restaurants, markets and other food industry sources, to food insecure families.

Tom Hauser, Fairfield County Site Director for Community Plates, said:

“We are so grateful to First County Bank for funding innovation in the fight against hunger.  The $5,000 grant allows us to rescue and deliver 100,000 meals to people in need in Fairfield County.”

Kevin Mullins, Executive Director of Community Plates, said:

“This is two years in a row we’ve received support from First County Bank Foundation, they are committed to giving back to their community and they have helped us continue to lead the food rescue movement.”

NYC Food Bank Shortage, Tackling Campus Food Waste, Greensboro’s Food Deserts, #HungerFreeSummer

Our weekly reading list of the people, places, and discussions taking place in food insecurity across the country.

The cupboard is bare: NYC food banks running out of stock

new-york-1More than a third of New York State’s food pantries have had to turn away people in need because they have run out of supplies. Food banks have been demanding an additional $16 million to replenish their stock.An estimated 1.4 million NY state citizens rely on food banks.

According to the Food Bank for New York City, about 2.6 million people (out of a total population of 8.5 million), have trouble affording food throughout NYC.


Read the full story on RT Network.


Why are people with jobs going hungry?
by Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of Feed Projects on CBC

102746456-lbl.530x298The promise of a meritocracy is a simple one: Each individual will be compensated in proportion to his or her labor. The abilities, skillsets and opportunities of these individuals may vary, but each can rest assured knowing that honest, hard work will amount to a life in which one’s daily needs are met, with potential for a better future. In a country that promises opportunity, shouldn’t someone who is working hard—sometimes even at multiple jobs—have the assurance of access to healthy food for his or her family?

Read the full commentary by Lauren Bush Lauren, CEO of Feed Projects on CNBC

Bringing Fruit To The Doorsteps Of Greensboro’s Food Deserts
by WUNC, Public Radio

strawberriesn_rKing calls his mobile market a “grocery store on wheels.” It is a mobile trailer unit surrounded by tents that offers fresh fruits, vegetables, tilapia and even healthy smoothies every Wednesday to Greensboro residents who are suffering from food insecurity.

Read the full story on WUNC, North Carolina Public Radio

Food Waste on Campus
by The Current, UC Santa Barbara 

ucsb-global-food-fellows-kate-parkinson-emilie-woodA far less common practice: Waiting outside a restaurant to weigh all the food that gets tossed out after the diners are done. But that’s exactly how UC Santa Barbara seniors Emilie Wood and Kate Parkinson spent their weekend brunch periods at the campus dining commons, every Saturday and Sunday alike, throughout spring quarter.

The pair has in fact been working much of the academic year to assess and reduce food waste on campus in their shared role as UCSB’s inaugural UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) Fellows. A third GFI fellow, Rachel Rouse, also a UCSB graduating senior, is studying food insecurity and access among the student populations.

Read the full story on UC Santa Barbara’s The Current

Kid President Partners With ConAgra To Fight Child Hunger

kid-presidentKid President (born Robbie Novak) is using his summer vacation to help other kids who are battling hunger during what should be the most carefree time of year. Partnering with ConAgra, he’s hosting “Tell-A-Thon”s all summer, where people young and old can talk about their efforts to combat hunger in their communities and other topics meant to raise awareness about this issue.

Read this story about Kid President’s campaign on PR Newser or visit Kid President’s website.