Over 8 Million Meals: How Nestlé USA is Supporting Feeding America’s Fight Against Hunger
COVID-19 hasn’t just changed the scale of hunger in the U.S. — it’s changed how we have to act to fight hunger
When COVID-19 led to broad closures across America in early 2020, all of us needed to adapt. We had to adapt the ways we work, the ways we parent, and the ways we find community. Food banks have had to adapt too — as more people were in need of food assistance, donations declined, and safety measures disrupted their operating model. Adaptation has been an essential part of tackling hunger.
For Nestlé, feeding our communities is at the center of our work — we’re all about bringing high-quality, accessible meals to American kitchens. We’ve made a global commitment to help 50 million children live healthier lives by 2030, and in the U.S. that means supporting communities that are vulnerable to hunger. That’s why we work with Feeding America® to help provide food to our most vulnerable neighbors.
As new challenges have emerged in 2020, here’s how our support has helped Feeding America meet those challenges head on:
Promoting Food Accessibility Over the Long Term
We’ve been partnering with Feeding America for more than two decades, and for the last two years we’ve been proud to be named a Feeding America Leadership Partner. Prior to the pandemic more than 35 million of our neighbors around the U.S. experienced food insecurity. Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap team presents critical facts about hunger in your own community.
Hunger relief requires a long-term approach, which is why we’ve continued to grow our partnership and support with the Feeding America network of food banks through donated product as well as programmatic support. It’s the strength of investing in these programs over time that give us the foundation we need to move fast in crisis response. Due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, more than 50 million people may experience food insecurity in 2020, including a potential 17 million children. When we realized what this could mean for food banks around the country and the logistics of getting meals to families in need, we wanted to lend a helping hand. This was the ideal moment to bring support for the Feeding America network’s mobile pantry program to life.
“Feeding America member food banks are working hard to meet the increased need in their communities. Support from organizations like Nestlé is essential to our hunger-relief efforts,” said Lauren Biedron, Vice President of Corporate Partnerships at Feeding America.
Taking Food Pantries on the Road
For some, the journey to the nearest food pantry is more than an hour away. To provide safe options for food distribution and improve access to nourishing meals during COVID-19, many food banks leveraged their mobile pantries to provide meals to people who needed them most. These mobile pantries are tailored to local needs — some are smaller refrigerated food trucks, others are large pop-up distribution centers that act as drive through stations for food collection.
“We are grateful to Nestlé’s support of food bank mobile pantries, which are critical to providing meals to our neighbors who need them most,” said Biedron.
Nestlé donations have helped Feeding America member food banks provide more meals through mobile food pantries across the country — from Arkansas to Washington, Texas to New Jersey and beyond, serving more than 2 million meals from Nestlé donations alone in communities where our teams live and work.
In fact, more than 88% of Feeding America member food banks have mobile pantries that deliver fresh, refrigerated and frozen items such as fruits, vegetables, dairy, meats and other nourishing meals to hardest-to-reach communities.
Tackling hunger in American communities — and across the world — is work that will take place over the long-term, and that will require innovative thinking and strong partnerships to succeed. Consider joining us to support the creative and inspiring ways that Feeding America food banks are bringing meals to family kitchens — learn more here.
*A meal from Feeding America is 1.2 pounds of product, based on USDA guidelines.
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