Foundation Funds Efforts to Eliminate Hunger, Food Waste

The Specialty Food Foundation recently awarded a $400,000 grant amongst 23 anti-hunger organizations so the groups could expand their important work.

Twenty-three organizations working to eradicate hunger and food waste in the U.S. will share a $400,000 grant from the Specialty Food Foundation in 2016, it announced this week [PDF]. Some 160 organizations sent in proposals for SFF’s second-ever grant, which was about double the size of last year’s $250,000 one.

Ron Tanner, SFF’s vice president of philanthropy and government and industry relations, told Associations Now that the foundation’s board selected organizations that are not your traditional soup kitchen or food bank as grant recipients. Instead, it chose groups that take an innovative approach to address the issues of food recovery and hunger relief.

Given the 3,200 members of the Specialty Food Association–which established SFF in 2014–are all entrepreneurs, the board looked for organizations who were engaged in entrepreneurial activities themselves, Tanner said.

One example is FOOD for Lane County in Eugene, Oregon. The group submitted a proposal that would allow them to purchase equipment to make applesauce from excess apples from farms statewide that would otherwise spoil. Maryland-based Food Recovery Network, which organizes students on more than 100 college campuses to donate excess food from their cafeterias and other food-service establishments to those who need it, also caught the board’s eye.

“Hunger and food waste are twin problems in our society, and these organizations are addressing them in creative ways in their communities,” Tanner said. “A lot of people realize so many people in the United States are hungry and the need to utilize food, but food waste is a huge, huge problem.”

In fact, it’s estimated 30 percent of all food in the U.S. is wasted, whether through individual’s refrigerators, retailers, food service establishments, or farms, according to Tanner.

But with a very successful inaugural grant program last year, Tanner is optimistic about the work groups will be able to do in 2016. “We feel very good helping these organizations and different entrepreneurial groups combat hunger,” he said.


Katie Rucke

By Katie Rucke

Katie Rucke is former Associate Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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