World hunger affects nearly 10% of people globally. From 2019 to 2022, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million, exacerbated by conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the food system, organizations are doing their part to help create a more secure and equitable food system.
We recently welcomed two of our food system friends onto the State of the Plate podcast to share more about how their organizations are working within their communities and nationally to fight hunger. Scott Marshall, Vice President of Development and Communications for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, and Amy Tranzillo, Head of Global Marketing at AgroFresh, joined our hosts Brandon Miller and Rochelle Ripp Schnadt for insightful and inspiring conversations on fighting hunger.
Fighting Hunger with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
You can’t think of ending hunger without Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin coming to mind. Each September, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin hosts an annual nationwide campaign where our volunteers and organization come together to raise awareness about hunger in America and inspire action. This month is just one of many initiatives that Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin does to fight hunger and promote an equitable food system. While many people might think of Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin as food drives and donations, Marshall shared how Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin sources food to make sure people get what they need when they need it while also supporting farmers.
“We have a program called FarmLink where we work with local Wisconsin farmers. What we do is we underwrite their planting, growing and harvesting of the food that they didn’t ordinarily plan to grow, but they do it for the people that we serve. Through FarmLink, freshly grown produce is distributed directly, minimizing shelf life and transportation time and ensuring a fresh, healthy product for our neighbors in need.”
“We also have the Emergency Food Assistance Program that exists to be able to purchase food from farmers to be able to keep prices consistent instead of fluctuating. Through this program the USDA purchases healthy foods from U.S. growers and producers and then partners with us to distribute this food to people in need.”
Reducing Food Loss with AgroFresh
Increasingly, businesses across the food system are also introducing efforts to make the food system more secure. AgroFresh is an AgTech innovator and global leader with a mission to prevent food loss and food waste, and conserve the planet’s resources through extending the shelf-life of fresh produce.
“If you think about the plant’s natural process of ripening, the moment it gets picked from either the tree or the bush, that fruit has an internal signaling system that starts the ripening process. A lot of that is managed by a number of different products that AgroFresh provides, such as our flagship SmartFresh Quality System that slows down the ripening process and extends the shelf life so produce has a better chance to make its way to the consumer.”
From 2002-2018, SmartFresh was responsible for diverting 259,500 metric tons of apple waste in the U.S., France and Italy alone!
Beyond creating groundbreaking solutions to prevent food loss like their revolutionary SmartFresh™ lineup, AgroFresh implements employee initiatives to further its mission.
“We have a little over 300 employees spread over 50 countries, so it’s hard to have one big volunteer event,” noted Tranzillo. “So, we came up with an idea that each site can go and donate time for one day to any different food bank or food safety cause.”
“In Philadelphia where we’re headquartered, we have a partnership with a large organization called Philabundance, a proud member of the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin network, and in the past we’ve helped them with various projects, such as packing boxes during the holiday season. They also have a very exciting program which we hope to participate in soon which is connected to the Philadelphia fresh fruit and vegetable port—the world’s largest fresh produce port.”
Tune in to the whole conversation.
Head to https://co-nxt.com/podcast/ to check out this latest episode, plus an extended conversation with Scott Marshall from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin!
Food and agriculture impact every life on this planet, every single day. And keeping the food chain moving from farm to fork is big business. Join food and ag communications experts and industry advocates Brandon Miller and Rochelle Schnadt once a month as they chat about some of the leading stories from throughout the food chain impacting the business behind feeding the world—from innovation and legislation to market trends and consumer insights.
Our team of subject matter experts focuses on food and agriculture—farm field to processing to entrée on a plate. We can help you build a new brand, protect an old one or target customers to foster sales. Let’s talk when the time is right to handle your next strategic marketing and communications challenge: Marcy Tessmann, firstname.lastname@example.org.
World hunger affects nearly 10% of people globally. From 2019 to 2022, the number of undernourished people grew by as many as 150 million, exacerbated by conflict, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the