Colorado Passes Universal Lunch Bill and other Hunger Stories in the News

38-million-americans-face-hunger-every-day.svgAcross the United States, over 38 million people face food insecurity, including 1 in 6 children. Since our inception in 2009, Move For Hunger has transported over 29 million lbs of food, over 24 million meals, to communities in need nationwide. 

While we’ve impacted millions of families' lives in the U.S. and in Canada, we are only a small piece of the puzzle. Read below for stories of action being taken to combat food insecurity from federal legislation to startup food waste initiatives. 

Colorado Passes Universal Lunch Bill

November 9: Colorado voters approved a bill to provide free meals for all public school students.

The measure will help schools pay for the meals by raising $100 million a year by increasing taxes on the state’s richest residents. Those making more than $300,000 a year will see their state tax deductions limited, increasing their taxable income.Colorado voters approved a bill to provide free meals for all public school students.

Read more about the bill here.

Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry in Charlotte, N.C. Partners with Instacart to Reduce Local Food Insecurity

October 24: Loaves & Fishes/Friendship Trays, an organization with more than 30 pantries in North Carolina and surrounding areas, announces crucial partnership with Instacart to provide more families in need with food. 

Instacart will offer a digital platform so the food pantry’s clients can order the food they want and have it delivered to their homes. "Food-insecure people are a prime market for digital choice and home delivery because they tend to lack mobility, or easy access to transportation, or are juggling multiple jobs that make lining up at specific times for food distributions difficult."

Read more about their partnership here.


Organizations are Partnering Together to Fight Hunger and Climate Change

October 13: "Around the world, a broad array of efforts are being launched to tackle two pressing global problems: hunger and climate change. Food waste, when it rots in a landfill, produces methane gas, which quickly heats up the planet. But it’s a surprisingly tough problem to solve.

Amid the growing urgency to slow global warming, governments and entrepreneurs are coming up with different ways to waste less food. In the United States, one start-up makes it easier for people to buy misshapen produce that grocery stores don’t want, and another has developed an invisible, plant-based coating to make fruits last longer. A Kenyan entrepreneur has built solar-powered refrigerators to help farmers store produce longer.

In Asia, Europe and the United States, several new mobile apps offer discounts on restaurant food that’s about to be thrown out. Last year, China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, began a “clean plate” campaign, calling for an end to the “shocking and distressing” squandering of food, even cracking down on video bloggers who eat excessive amounts of food on camera.

All these different efforts point to a disconnect in the modern global food system: A lot of food is produced but not eaten, even as people go hungry." Read more from this article here.


White House holds Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health

September 28: Today, President Joe Biden held the first White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health in more than half a century. During this conference, President Biden committed more than $8 billion as part of a call to action to fight hunger across the United States. 

This commitment is part of a plan to end hunger and reduce the incidence of diet-related disease by the end of the decade. The financial commitment will go across the private- and public-sector, ranging from philanthropic contributions and donations to community-based organizations, investments in business, and new ways to integrate and screen for nutrition in healthcare delivery. 

Some of the ways this will manifest in everyday life include: providing community-based organizations to give out $1 million in Doordash Community Credits to allow access for free food delivery, Publix providing over $3 million to Feeding America food banks to establish mobile food pantries they will help stock with 500,000 lbs of produce weekly for the first year, the Community Gyms Coalition will launch a nationwide Fitness is Essential campaign, among many others.


Governor Murphy Signs Working Class Families’ Anti-Hunger Act into Law

September 9: Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey signed the Working Class Families’ Anti-Hunger Act today, after passing with nearly unanimous support in June. The legislation will expand access to free or reduced meal programs in schools, as well as signing another bill to spread awareness about school meal options.

“[These bills] will help us refocus our fight against food insecurity. They will ensure that our kids are more fully prepared to excel in their studies, so they can excel in their lives. And through it all, they will make life in New Jersey a little bit more affordable for countless working- and middle-class families,” said the governor during the signing in South Amboy.

In New Jersey, more than 650,000 people, including 1 in 11 children, are food insecure. Move For Hunger is working hard to eliminate hunger in New Jersey. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve delivered over 1.5 million lbs - more than 1.25 million meals - of food, with over 56,000 lbs, nearly 47,000 meals, in 2022 alone.


Pennsylvania Announces Hunger-Free Campus Initiative

August 4: First Lady of Pennsylvania, Frances Wolf, made an appearance at Millersville University to announce the Hunger-Free Campus Initiative. The measure will work to provide access to free, healthy food on college campuses across the state to students at risk of hunger. 

With the changing demographics of college students, $1 million was allocated in the 2022-23 state budget to help enhance food pantries at universities, improve data gathering, increase Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach, and other initiatives

“Hunger is a devastating reality affecting too many of Pennsylvania’s postsecondary students as they strive to further their education, and today I am proud to say that, here in Pennsylvania, we are refusing to accept it. I invite all of Pennsylvania’s institutions of higher education to apply for the Hunger-Free Campus designation and join their dedicated colleagues in ensuring our students have access to the tools they need to succeed, especially nutritious food,” said First Lady Wolf.

In Pennsylvania, more than 1.1 million people are food insecure, with 1 in 7 children facing hunger. Move For Hunger is working hard to eliminate hunger in Pennsylvania. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve delivered over 177,000 lbs - more than 147,500 meals - of food, with over 7,700 lbs, over 6,400 meals, in 2022.


California Offers Food Benefits to Undocumented Immigrants

June 26: California has just passed a new state budget deal that will expand food benefit eligibility to undocumented immigrants 55 years or older who reside in the state. A report from the Legislative Analyst’s Office says this new policy will eventually benefit 75,000 Californians annually who are struggling without this assistance. Previous estimates believe that half of those without legal immigration status in the state face food insecurity.

Betzabel Estudillo, a Nourish California senior advocate, reflected on the crisis facing immigrants without legal status with the L.A. Times, “We’re absolutely grateful , but we know the need is greater, and many more immigrant Californians are in need of food assistance, especially right now.”

In California, more than 3.5 million people are food insecure, with 1 in 8 children facing hunger. Move For Hunger is working hard to eliminate hunger in California. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve delivered over 2 million lbs - more than 1.6 million meals - of food, with over 160,000 lbs, over 130,000 meals, in 2022.

Congress Passes the Keep Kids Fed Act

June 25: President Joe Biden signs the Keep Kids Fed Act, an extension of pandemic-era legislation to help provide meals to kids in school through mid-September. The act provides “important funding and flexibility for communities to provide children healthy meals this summer and provide support to schools and daycare providers.” 

The legislation includes several key elements: free meals for students eligible for reduced-cost meals, extend summer meal program waivers, increase federal reimbursement rates for school lunch by 40 cents and breakfast by 15 cents, among others.

“Our action today staves off a dangerous hunger cliff: ensuring universal free meals for all children throughout this summer, while helping schools keep up supply chain snags and rising costs for the upcoming school year,” said House Speaker Nancy Peolosi.


Senate Passes $5 Billion in Global Food Aid Following Russian Invasion

May 19: Amidst fears of famine from UN reports, the Senate passes $5 billion in global food aid in a larger $40 billion military and humanitarian aid package for Ukraine. The funding comes in response to fears of the collapse of the Ukrainian agricultural sector and potential global food supply shortages that could follow. 

Speaking in March 2022, New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said that the approval of global food aid was needed to “prevent tens of millions of people, including millions of children, from dying of starvation.” 

The World Food Programme receives almost half of its commodities from Ukraine, with Russia and Ukraine together accounting for nearly a quarter of the world’s wheat exports.


Albertsons Announces Commitment to Donate 1 Billion Meals by 2030

April 20: Idaho-based grocer Albertsons announces a broad plan to combat global hunger, with a commitment to donate 1 billion meals by 2030. Additionally, Albertsons plans to achieve net-zero carbon emissions through its operations by 2040. Zero food waste going to landfills is also included in its goals, hoping to be reached by 2030

Operating across thirty-four states and Washington, D.C., Albertsons has several thousand retail stores, pharmacies, associated fuel centers, dedicated distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities. This bold commitment to benefit the communities it serves is a step forward towards combating food waste.

In Idaho, more than 150,000 people are food insecure with 1 in 9 children facing hunger. Move For Hunger is working hard to eliminate hunger in Idaho. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve delivered over 28,000 lbs (that’s over 23,000 meals!) of food, with over 700 lbs, nearly 600 meals, in 2022.


Kentucky Passes SB 151 to Expand Access to School-Provided Breakfast

March 29: Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear signs legislation allowing schools participating in the Federal School Breakfast to “authorize up to 15 minutes of the student attendance day to provide the opportunity for children to eat breakfast during instructional time.” 

Across the state of Kentucky, only 60% of students eligible for free or reduced school meals are receiving breakfast daily - meaning 273,000 eligible kids are not

Kentucky officials hope the bill will provide further access for children who may come to school and haven’t eaten since school-provided lunch the previous day. “I have had kids come to my office and they say things like ‘I’ve got a headache, and my stomach doesn’t feel good, and I can’t concentrate, and I can’t focus,’ and honestly one of the first questions I ask them is ‘Have you eaten breakfast?’ and 99% of the time the answer is no they haven’t,” said Mayfield High School Assistant Principal Stephen Hatchell to WPSD Local 6.

In Kentucky, more than 575,000 people are food insecure with 1 in 6 children facing hunger. Move For Hunger is working hard to eliminate hunger in Kentucky. Since our inception in 2009, we’ve delivered over 55,000 lbs (that’s over 30,500 meals!) of food, with over 3,500 lbs, over 2,900 meals, in 2022.


Flashfood Aims to Combat Retail Food Waste

February 28: Founded in 2016, Flashfood recently raised $12.3 million towards its app that helps customers find great discounts on food nearing its “best-by” date. Originally based in Toronto, Flashfood has grown to include grocery partners across Canada and the United States, such as Loblaw, Stop & Shop, Giant Eagle, and others. The donations will be used to help scale up operations and expand its existing partnerships.

The app was created because of CEO Josh Domingues’ experience talking to his sister, a chef, who called him and told him she had to throw away $4,000 worth of food that night. After discovering this shocking reality of the food and grocery industry, Domingues went to work developing Flashfood, which allows customers to purchase food approaching its best-by date for a discounted price through their virtual marketplace and then pick it up at the Flashfood zone of the participating store. 

Flashfood is now available for use in Kentucky, Nebraska, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, New York, and Rhode Island in the United States; Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Newfoundland in Canada. 


New York State Enacts Food Donation and Food Scraps Recycling Law

January 1: Effective today, New York State - excluding New York City, hospitals, nursing homes, farms, K-12 schools, and adult care facilities - has put a new law into effect to combat edible food waste. Any business that generates more than two tons of wasted food per week annually must donate any excess edible food they have or must recycle food scraps if they’re within 25 miles of an organic recycling center, such as a composting facility or anaerobic digester.  

This legislation was passed in the hope of combatting the statistic of 40% of food produced in the United States going uneaten. New York City is not included in this new legislation because there are already local laws regulating the diversion of edible food there. 

In the state of New York, more than 1.8 million people, including 1 in 7 children, are food insecure. Since our founding in 2009, Move For Hunger has been able to transport nearly 460,300 lbs of food in the state, bringing nearly 383,500 meals to those in need.