How We Can Really Bring An End To World Hunger
This post was originally published on HuffPost Canada
By: Maryam Rehman | Toronto, Canada
Living in both developed and developing countries, hunger is existent. I often collect food for food drives, and even volunteer at food banks, but there's never enough to feed everyone. Then I think, how is that even possible, considering the shelves filled with food on the racks of grocery stores? It doesn't have to do with developed or developing countries because this is an issue no country is spared from.
Global Goal number two is focused specifically to insure that hunger is nonexistent in our world by 2030. The mission, is to "End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture."
This seems like something that's impossible to achieve, but again, considering the amount of food that is constantly present on the shelves of grocery stores, clearly this is achievable. Hence, it's not an issue of food available, but instead one with regards to proper food distribution. I'm not proposing that food production companies simply give up their food, I doubt anyone would deem that reasonable. There are plausible solutions out there, though, in existence to combat hunger and food waste. Here are three that I think hold true promise for the future of making this Global Goal a reality.
A fast growing organization that use food that would have otherwise gone to waste by supermarkets, restaurants, and other food suppliers, and serve it at their cafes. Run by a "Pay as you feel" policy, customers can choose to pay nothing, and choose to help with cleanup after. Open to not just a specific demographic of people, the Real Junk Food Project feeds anyone and everyone who comes to their cafe. The organization aims to raise awareness of the amount of food waste within the food system, while responding directly to this problem by utilizing waste food in its food outlets and cafes. Currently based in the UK, TRJFP has shown real promise; since its opening, the first PAYF cafe has fed over 10,000 people while using 20 tonnes of unwanted food. Expanding these cafes worldwide has the possibility of being vital in the fight against hunger.
Aiming to redistribute, repurpose, and restore food to end hunger in America, Tranfernation plans on mitigating hunger by the means of eliminating waste culture, and working to enable the transfer of food from "those with extra, to those in need." Incorporating an up-to-date solution for an outdated problem, Transfernation works on the basis of two online platforms: a website and a smartphone app. These platforms connect those with extra food to those who need it. For example, connecting corporations with social institutions to ensure that all extra food from corporate events can be repurposed and redistributed, not thrown away. Operating on a daily basis, Transfernation rescues approximately 500 pounds or more per week which roughly translates to 300 plus lives impacted. Transfernation believes that eliminating waste culture can combat hunger, and ensure that we employ what we already have, in lieu of investing in what we cannot afford.
Already working to tackle food waste in different areas of the supply chain, the grocery giant Tesco has partnered with UK food distribution charity FareShare as well as Irish Social Enterprise Food cloud to launch the FareShare FoodCloud app in the UK. This new solution will employ the exclusion of the need to throw away food in Tesco stores that could be eaten otherwise. Using the app, Tesco store managers will send an alert to charities in regards to the amount of surplus food they have at the end of each day. From the wide variety of charities, one will confirm that it wants the food, and turns it into meals for those in need, while picking up it up from the store free of charge. To ensure that they are using this surplus food safely, all charities will also be supported by FareShare.
This list is endless. So many organizations are working, have been working, to combat world hunger and this issue has plagued our world for too long. I mentioned the solutions above because they hold promise for the future. These organizations are different from others given that they use what's already there to solve this problem instead of asking for more investments. With good reason too, because essentially the fight against world hunger has a lot more to do with distribution than it has to do with supply. Looking at hunger through this lens can help us come closer to solving at least one aspect of the global goal of Zero Hunger.