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Responding to America’s hunger crisis for nearly 40 years, Feeding America understands that people in need face a perfect storm of challenges. For many, an unexpected illness, a sudden job loss or even a car repair can lead to financial devastation. We want to help families in need—like Daniel’s—through the hard times and enable them to put their struggles with hunger in the past. Last year, we did just that by helping provide a record of more than 4 billion meals for families in need.
Across the nation, many Americans are on their way to a better future. The U.S. economy is growing, but even still, there are millions who are left behind. In fact, our latest research demonstrates that people currently facing hunger are finding it more and more difficult to provide their families with the nutrition they need.
To truly achieve our goal of a hunger-free America, Feeding America is leveraging our unparalleled expertise and nationwide network of food banks to serve more people in need and reach them more efficiently and effectively than ever before.
First, we are expanding our efforts to tackle the related problems of hunger and food waste. For decades, Feeding America has prevented perfectly good food from being thrown out and instead delivered it to people in need. In collaboration with many forward-thinking farmers and food companies, we helped provide struggling families with 2.8 billion pounds of food last year alone—food that would have otherwise gone to waste. Now, we are investing in new partnerships and technologies that will help us collect smaller quantities of perishable food from local businesses. One of our most promising solutions is MealConnect, a web-based application that enables any food-related business to donate food to Feeding America. Through developing creative food rescue strategies, we will have the resources to provide more healthy meals nationwide while also reducing food waste.
Second, we are developing an ambitious plan for making measurable progress in the fight to end hunger in America. Hunger looks different for everyone, but for some, it means choosing between purchasing groceries or paying the light bill. For others, it means buying cheap, unhealthy foods instead of fruits and vegetables because fresh foods are too expensive. At Feeding America, we want to eliminate these tough choices. We have a tremendous opportunity to not only provide food, but also help people achieve a more stable future, free from worry about whether they will get the nutrients and energy they need. We know that households face hunger when they do not have the resources to meet their basic needs. As a result, we are developing a comprehensive strategy that will to help shrink the resource gap that forces families to seek food assistance. Our bold approach will rely on a wide range of perspectives and engage the strength of Feeding America and other leading organizations to make the biggest difference possible for people facing hunger.
At Feeding America, our success has galvanized us to do even more for our neighbors in need. Through support from many generous partners, we help provide food and groceries to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding people is the core of our work. However, as we look to the future, we are building a bridge between the vital work we do and what more must be done to achieve a hunger-free America. But we know we cannot do it alone. As individuals, businesses, charities and government entities, we all have a role to play in getting more food to more people and ending hunger for many families. Together, we can create a society that is better for everyone.