Hunger is a huge problem in America. Even more than you may realize. Right now, 1 in 6 Americans are hungry. At the same time, a LOT of food is wasted every day in the food industry.
One guy is on a mission to change that. After we posted his video on Upworthy a few months ago, hundreds of you were inspired by that mission. You offered to help in your own communities, and the movement took off. Now, Ben is taking it to the next level. Here’s to hoping more restaurants and food businesses hop on board!
Ben Simon: An issue of hunger in America is not in the scope of the millions of pounds each year being wasted, it's in the scope of billions. We're not making change fast enough, we need to see a cultural shift, we need to see an industry wide shift, every restaurant, every caterer, dinging hall, every food business should be donating it's extra food.
My name is Ben Simon, I am the founder and executive director of Food Recovery Network. We take food from college campus dining halls that would otherwise get thrown away at the end of the day and donate that food to hungry Americans. Nations ... featured us in a video a couple of months ago and we got an outstanding online response, actually had over 440 students see the video and apply online to start Food Recovery Network chapters at their college.
This is a lot of food.
We've been building off of this momentum to now announce the launch of our new certification program call Food Recovery Certified. Which is the first National Certification program to recognize and reward businesses like caterers, restaurants, dining halls, grocery stores, and others that are doing the right thing by donating their extra food in their community to those in need.
Cara Mayo: My name is Cara Mayo I'm from Food Recovery Network, I'm calling on behalf of Starbucks they have requested to become Food Recovery Certified. 81% of consumers worldwide want their businesses to be associated with an environmental or social cause. They want the effects of it to be felt in their home, in their community.
If the company is already recovering their food to a local non profit, then all they need to do is go online fill out our form. I call their local non profit and make sure they are recovering their unsold surplus food, then I send them an E-mail saying congratulations, you're Food Recovery Certified.
Here is a high resolution digital copy of our logo that they can use to advertise in whatever way they choose to, and then I mail a window sticker to them that they can put in their establishment.
Kristin: Being Food Recovery Certified was a conscious, thoughtful decision to give nutritious food to people who need it and not be an after thought .. something we can do on a regular basis that helps others in our neighborhood.
I think that a lot of customers are very sensitive to where the food comes from and how it's sourced, but they don't always know at the end of it's life what happens to the food. Does it go into the compost bin? I think most people think that's the most sustainable way to handle the food, but actually if you can feed someone, that has a lot of value.
Marvin: I really appreciate it. Especially this last winter, it was really cold out. It was nice to have hot coffee, hot chocolate, hot food. it's a full course meal. It's not like you're being fed little portions, because there is plenty of food.
Ben: In 2015 there's supposed to be nine and a half billion people in the world. How are we going to feed nine and a half billion people in 2015? I think the solution isn't necessarily, how could we learn to grow more food? It's, how can we not waste half of our food? How can we close that loop and get some of that food into the mouths of the people who need it the most? Nobody deserves to be hungry, especially not in America.