Why food?

WhyThe Farmlink Project?

Why food?

Why food?

Why food?

Food insecurity does not simply mean a lack of any food—it can also refer to a lack of nutritious food. 1 in 5 Americans currently experience food insecurity, an equivalent to 35.2 million people in the U.S. With the financial and accessibility barriers to getting fresh and nutritious produce, food-insecure individuals are often forced to buy unhealthy foods that will give them the calories needed to get through the day but lack the nutritional value to sustain them in the long-term.

Source: USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)

The USDA estimates that 30-40 percent of the food supply in the United States goes to waste every year.

At every step of the supply chain, food goes to waste.  Inherent uncertainties in the agricultural industry, such as weather, pests, and fluctuations in demand, contribute significantly to the amount of produce wasted. In many cases, low demand can make harvesting excess produce financially illogical—when costs of labor and transportation cannot be covered by income from the produce, often farmers will plow that produce back under.

Source: USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)

According to the USDA, the prevalence of adult chronic conditions in food-insecure households are found to be 18 percent higher than those in food-secure households

Unhealthy diets and increased malnutrition are among the top ten risk factors that contribute to the global burden of disease, and one in three individuals is considered to be affected by at least one form of malnutrition that includes hunger, stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD).

Source: USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)

If food waste was a country, it would be the third-largest contributor to global greenhouse gas emissions.

Tens of millions of pounds of edible produce are left unharvested, lost in transit, processing, or retail, or thrown away by consumers. The majority of food waste that occurs at the warehouse, store, or consumer level is ultimately sealed in a landfill, where it releases methane—a greenhouse gas with over 30 times the heat trapping ability of carbon dioxide. Landfills are responsible for almost 15 percent of the country’s methane emissions, with organic matter making up the largest percentage of total landfill mass.

Source: USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture)

Food-insecure students are more likely to get lower grades, have higher rates of absenteeism, repeat a grade, and struggle to focus in class due to hunger and malnutrition.

Insufficient intake of fruits, vegetables, or dairy products leads to deficits of specific nutrients (i.e., vitamins A, B6, B12, C, folate, iron, zinc, and calcium), which are directly correlated with a student’s cognitive performance and academic capacity.

Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion

Food has a major impact on all aspects of life

At The Farmlink Project, we are working hard to protect people and our planet from the consequences of food insecurity and food waste, and we need your help.

$1 Donates 20 Meals

food insecurity

What is food insecurity? It is The state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. 1 in 5 Americans currently experience food insecurity.  In 2019, 35.2 million people in the US lived in food-insecure households, and due to the effects of COVID-19, more than 54 million people are estimated to experience food insecurity in 2020, including a potential 18 million children. Households with children experienced a much higher rate of food insecurity (13.6%) than those without children (9.3%). ​

Many food-insecure Americans live in what is known as a food desert—an area where it is difficult to buy affordable, fresh food due to barriers of income, transportation, and mobility. These barriers disproportionately impact communities of color, a phenomenon recognized by the term food apartheid. “Food apartheid” accounts for the racism and other systemic forms of prejudice that result in a lack of access to high-quality, nutritious food in marginalized communities.

Food insecurity does not simply mean a lack of any food—it can also refer to a lack of nutritious food. With the financial and accessibility barriers to getting fresh and nutritious produce, food-insecure Americans are often forced to buy unhealthy foods that will give them the calories needed to get through the day but lack the nutritional value to sustain them in the long-term.  

The effects of food insecurity go beyond simply the feeling of hunger—a lack of access to fresh, nutritious food has a direct impact on a person’s success in the classroom or at work, as well as one’s physical and mental health.

food waste

At every step of the supply chain, food goes to waste.  Inherent uncertainties in the agricultural industry, such as weather, pests, and fluctuations in demand, contribute significantly to the amount of produce wasted. In many cases, low demand can make harvesting excess produce financially illogical—when costs of labor and transportation cannot be covered by income from the produce, often farmers will plow that produce back under.  As a result, an average of 31.3% of all marketable produce is left behind in harvest, and never makes it off the farm. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council,  “only about 10 percent of surplus edible food is currently recovered in the United States.” In 2010, approximately 133 billion pounds or $161 billion worth of food went to waste in just the retail and consumer levels in the United States. Enough food  to feed the population of the United States for over 3 months goes bad on supermarket shelves and in consumers’ refrigerators each year. The Farmlink Project is working to change this by identifying farms that have surplus produce, and connecting them to communities in need to ensure that the surplus does not go to waste.

health

According to the USDA, the prevalence of adult chronic conditions in food-insecure households are found to be 18 percent higher than those in food-secure households.​Unhealthy diets and increased malnutrition are among the top ten risk factors that contribute to the global burden of disease, and one in three individuals is considered to be affected by at least one form of malnutrition that includes hunger, stunting, wasting, micronutrient deficiencies, obesity, and diet-related non-communicable disease (NCD). Malnutrition, as a consequence of food insecurity and poverty, negatively affects people’s productive abilities to work, learn, and develop as well as lead to chronic diseases such as atherosclerosis, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and can often lead to premature death. Furthermore, food-insecure individuals and families are also more likely to suffer from psychological and behavioral health issues.   Recently, unhealthy diets and malnutrition have been proven to alter the so-called intestinal microbiota. Our microbiota is made up of a large variety of microorganisms that inhabit our intestine and is a crucial component in maintaining our health. The reduction and impoverishment of the microbiota alter the capability of transforming the nutrients and nondigestible dietary components that we introduce with our diet, leading to clear effects on individual health. By increasing access to fresh, nutritious produce in communities in need, The Farmlink Project is working to combat these negative health effects of food insecurity.