The following excerpt comes from Mapping Cross-Sector Solutions to Food Loss, published in the PYXERA Global Engagement Forum: Online.
Some numbers defy the limits of imagination. What does 1.3 billion tons of wasted food look like? What could we do with an extra billion bags of potatoes or 3.7 trillion apples? What are the implications of 574 billion eggs spoiled? And how could these staggering numbers translate into solutions for the 815 million and rising food-insecure individuals globally? It is too often assumed that given the scope of the problem—which, after all, strains the global economy, devastates our environment, and leaves hundreds of millions undernourished—an individual cannot make a significant impact.
It is time for our society to fully acknowledge that we cannot stop hunger by serving people a single meal at a time. Instead, we can look at the diversity of organizations working to transform our food systems, chart their infrastructure needs, and provide pro bono resources that address and support programmatic scale, which provides a sustainable system that is accessible and reliable.
Charting a path to collaboration
In the summer of 2018, the Taproot Foundation and the Wallace Center undertook the challenge to map the unique needs of NGOs along the food value chain and identify actionable next steps where pro bono service could impact the problem and offer a new solution. Like any good map, the result provides a new path forward for NGOs and corporate volunteers. With an improved understanding of the relationships between actors in the food chain and the processes that link them together, NGOs will be able to better articulate their capacity challenges and the potential solutions, and corporate employees will be able to more quickly determine how and where to apply their expertise for the greatest impact.