Founded in 2009, LA-based non-profit Food Forward is celebrating a milestone achievement: redirecting 250 million pounds of food (about one billion servings) from landfills to communities facing food insecurity. This could not have happened without the organization’s nimble navigation of Southern California’s food distribution system. After saving fresh produce from predominately wholesale recovery programs, Food Forward stores it at their refrigerated Produce Pit Stop and then distributes it among several hunger relief programs that work in various parts of California, as well as six other states and two Tribal nations. Included in this list is the Cherokee Nation in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, a place that is home to the largest number of native Cherokee speakers in the country and where most groceries can only be bought at dollar stores. As opposed to the government’s only large-scale food initiative, the now-defunct USDA Farmers to Family program (which was marred by issues, from waste management to lack of nutritious options), Food Forward’s achievements attest to how community-based infrastructure provides critical care. Learn more about this at Civil Eats.
Image courtesy of Vanessa Bly