Facts about Food Insecurity
The USDA defines food insecurity as “a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” In other words, food insecurity is when someone is unsure where and how their next meal will come. According to the USDA report published in September 2016, 15.8 million households in the U.S. experience food insecurity. It is estimated that 141 million pounds of food would eliminate food insecurity in Detroit. Responding to this need in Detroit are two organizations, Forgotten Harvest and Gleaners, who together provide around 74 million pounds of food.
Meet our current Challenge Partner
One of the things I really appreciate about Challenge Detroit is the opportunity to get to know local organizations that are meeting the needs of the community. Our current Challenge Partner, Forgotten Harvest, rescued 42.4 million pounds of food last year, which was then distributed to over 250 agencies in the Metro-Detroit area. These agencies provide food relief through pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and mobile pantries. Forgotten Harvest is committed to reducing food waste and accomplishes this by partnering with over 800 food businesses such as Kroger, Whole Foods, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Meijer, Plum Market, Hollywood Markets, Trader Joe’s, Great Northern Greenhouse, and Mastronardi.
A challenge for me as I reflect
Over the last few weeks as I have spent time learning from Forgotten Harvest, I have been challenged by how Forgotten Harvest began. The organization started because the founder and her family struggled with food security. When her circumstances changed, she made the commitment to help those facing similar situations. Twenty-five years later, Forgotten Harvest has grown from the founder’s personal vehicle to a fleet of 35 vehicles, which picks up food and distributes to Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Country, over 15,900 volunteers, and its own farm that produced 880,000 pounds of food. As I reflect on the humble beginnings of the organization that is helping meet the needs of Metro-Detroit, I wonder what difference could I make if I pay attention to the needs around me? Because one woman saw a need, this has helped provide 42.4 million pounds of food for Detroit. I want to be this type of change agent in my community. Thank you, Forgotten Harvest, for this challenge.