Helping Food Banks Achieve Zero Hunger

Mar 29, 2019 10:30 AM ET

Originally published in The Taste of General Mills by Claudine Galloway

In 2015, numerous countries made the commitment to achieve Zero Hunger by 2030 through the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Currently, 821 million people globally suffer from hunger, and even more do not receive adequate nutrition to live a productive and healthy life. Although we currently produce enough food to feed every single person on the planet, one-third of the current food supply is either wasted or lost.

The good news is that a tremendous amount of collaboration, cooperation and innovation already exists across all sectors, which has allowed impactful programs to be developed that will bring us closer to a sustainable world where everyone will have enough to eat.

At The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), we work with our food bank members, located in more than 30 countries, to rescue wholesome surplus food versus going to landfills and redirect it to hungry people. 

Our goal is to create, sustain and strengthen food banks in order to reduce food insecurity in nations and communities around the world.

This work is only possible because of partnerships with and support from corporations like General Mills. Our longstanding partnership has helped food banks around the world scale operations and train staff.

At the annual GFN Food Bank Leadership Institute in London, which brought together nearly 150 food bankers from 50 countries, nine food banking organizations in Africa, South and Central America, and Australia received Zero Hunger Food Bank Challenge grants.

These grants, which were funded in large part by the General Mills Foundation, will allow the food banks to strengthen their contribution to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is to eliminate global hunger by 2030.

The grants will be invested in equipment and programs that will help food banks source more food, reaching a total of 2.2 million hungry people. Some of the food bank organizations that received the grants include:

  • Foodbank Australia, Northern Territory – Nearly a quarter of Australians live in low economic resource households. The grant will be used to expand the food bank’s service area to include rural communities and hard-to-reach indigenous populations.
  • FoodForward SA, South Africa – The national food bank network distributes approximately 4 million kilograms of food each year. The grant will aim to increase this number by expanding FoodForward SA’s agricultural recovery program, which recovers post-harvest produce, specifically in the coastal city of Durban.
  • Bancos de Alimentos de Mexico – An estimated nine percent of the Mexican population is severely food insecure. The grant will help Mexican food banks collect and deliver more nutritious food to those in need by equipping food banks in five cities with cold storage equipment, and providing training to all food banks in the Mexican networ

Additionally, organizations in Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, Panama and Peru will receive funding to expand food bank operations and feed more people facing hunger.

The Zero Hunger Food Bank Challenge helps address the interconnected issues of food waste and hunger. Because of the tremendous support of General Mills and the incredible work of food banks around the world, the initiative will help bring us closer to achieving the world’s goal of reaching zero hunger.

Editor’s note: In addition to supporting the Zero Hunger Foodbank Challenge, General Mills provides the Global FoodBanking Network with annual operating support, food product donations and financial support to strengthen food banking practices in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, China, Singapore and India. Complimentary non-governmental organization partnerships enable General Mills to also support food banking in the United States and across Europe.