According to Feeding America—a non-profit and network of over 200 food banks—one in six people “face hunger” in the United States each year. Yet, a Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) report published in 2012, found that as much as 40 percent of food is wasted between farm and table, much of which ends up in landfills. In monetary terms, this equates to about US$165 billion each year.
In an effort to close this discrepancy between hunger and food waste, Arthur Gray Morgan founded Gather Baltimore—a volunteer organization whose mission it is to gather unsold fruits, vegetables, and bread from Baltimore farmer’s markets, local farms, and produce distributors. Morgan and volunteers then set up farm stands in order to sell and give out this produce to low-income families and community-partners who are involved in charitable giving services. Currently, they are feeding between 200 and 500 families a week.
“Gather” started after Morgan saw how much food was being wasted at farmer’s markets and began collecting food with just a few bins and a pickup truck. But in 2012, Morgan received a US$60,000 from the Open Society Institute to expand his operation and to make it more sustainable. Right now, Gather is running a GiveCorps fundraising campaign to buy a refrigerated space for the food that does not currently fit in their two trucks. This space would expand Gather’s impact by helping it prevent even more food from going to waste.