40 Million Americans Don't Have Access To Enough Food. These Companies Are Trying To Change That
Food access is not just a health issue—it's an issue of equality. Last year 40 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, meaning they consistently did not have access to enough food to live a healthy life.
Statistics like this are startling and leave us wondering if anything can be done to combat such a pressing, widespread crisis. Especially since, as James Beard Award–winning chef and founder of Wholesome Wave Michel Nischan told us, "60 percent of all Americans either don't believe or don't know that this problem even exists."
Fortunately, there are some companies out there looking to make fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible to all. Just today, Naked Juice and Wholesome Wave hosted an event as part of their annual #DrinkGoodDoGood social media campaign—which aims to increase access to affordable, high-quality produce. In 2016, this campaign donated over 100,000 pounds of healthy fruit and vegetables to those in need. This year, for every shopping cart dance video uploaded to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook with the hashtag #FillYourCartForGood, Naked and Wholesome will donate $100 of produce to people in food-insecure areas. So if you've been waiting to bust a move or make a difference, the time is now! Did we mention John Legend and Misty Copeland are ambassadors for the campaign (and that they'll soon be talking all about it and more on the mindbodygreen Podcast)?
We’re happy to see these two brands fall into an increasingly long line of companies looking to use their reach as a source of good. Over the years, General Mills has given $57 million worth of food to U.S. and international food banks; Campbell's has donated over $50 million in food to support organizations like Feeding America, as well as put healthy food into 40 corner stores in areas classified as food deserts; and PepsiCo. has set the lofty goal of eliminating food deserts entirely.
And if you're thinking, "These are huge brands, what difference can one person really make?" well, let us remind you that real change starts from the ground up. There are tons of activists and organizations out there devoted to food access, and they're always looking for volunteers and donations. Here in New York, there's Rescuing Leftover Cuisine, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating food waste by delivering restaurant leftovers to those in need, and in Los Angeles, #mbgrevitalize speaker LaRayia Gaston heads up Lunch on Me, a nonprofit intent on ending starvation by redistributing organic food waste.
At the end of the day, we applaud activism and equality wherever it comes from. You. We. All. deserve access to healthy, fresh foods—and the more companies coming forward to put their resources to good use, the better.
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