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TOWARDZEROHUNGERWaste Not Want Not: Toward Zero HungerWASTE NOTWANT NOTFood Banks as a GreenSolution to HungerThe Global FoodBanking Network 2019

WASTE NOT WANT NOTTOWARDZERO HUNGERFood Banks as a Green Solution to Hunger

The Global FoodBanking Network is an independent, nonpartisan charitable organization. All statements of fact andexpressions of opinion contained in this report are the sole responsibility of the research team and do not necessarilyrepresent the views of The Global FoodBanking Network, its members/partners/affiliates, or the report funders.Cover Photo: Giovanny Sánchez/Banco de Alimentos Cali. All other photos except pages 2, 4-5, 8, 23, 41 and 63:Ken Jones Photography and photos owned and provided by participating food bank organizations. March 2019 by The Global FoodBanking Network. All rights reserved.This report may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form (beyond that copying permitted by sections107 and 108 of the US Copyright Law and excerpts by reviewers for the public press), without written permissionfrom the publisher. For further information about The Global FoodBanking Network or this report, please write toThe Global FoodBanking Network, 70 East Lake, Suite 1200, Chicago, Illinois 60601, or visit

CONTENTSForeword & Acknowledgments. 1Executive summary. 2Introduction. 6Part I: The challenges of hunger and food wastageSustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger.10Sustainable Development Goal Target 12.3: Reduce Food Waste and Loss.18Hunger can be ended by 2030.25Part II: How food banking is advancing the SDGsFood banks are an indispensable green intervention toward zero hunger and sustainability.30The food bank model is already helping speed progress toward the SDGs.36Part III: Food banking around the worldFood banks in high-income countries. 42Food banks in emerging market economies. 46Conclusion. 52Methodology. 64Endnotes. 68FIGURESBOXESFigure 1: Food banks’ collective impact. 3Box 1: Understanding food insecurity and hunger.13Figure 2: Percent of children suffering from hunger. 12Box 2: Measuring hunger and food insecurity.16Figure 3: The number of undernourished people. 14Box 3: You need to measure it to manage it.22Figure 4: Food insecurity, malnutrition, and poverty. 15Box 4: Brief history of the food bank movement.32Figure 5: Per-capita food losses and waste. 18Box 5: Hunger intervention spotlight: Government support.41Figure 6: How much food is wasted every year?. 20Box 6: Business working with food banks: Cargill.59Figure 7: Global food supply chain losses. 21Box 7: Business working with food banks: Bank of America.60Figure 8: How food banking works. 30FOOD BANKING AROUND THE WORLD BOXESFigure 9: Desired change in waste flow. 33Figure 10: The Global Foodbanking Network in brief. 38Figure 11: Food and drink material hierarchy. 39Figure 12: Annual environmental Impact of food banks. 40Figure 13: Food banks: The green hunger intervention. 43United Kingdom.44Turkey.45Mexico.46Dominican Republic.47South Africa.49Taiwan.50

FOREWORD & ACKNOWLEDGMENTSThere is more than enough food produced in the world to feed everyone, yet an estimated 821 millionpeople—one in nine—go hungry,1 all while 1.3 billion tons of edible food is wasted.2 For the third yearin a row, there has been a rise in global hunger, reversing an almost decade-long trend of decline. Thehunger situation in some regions has worsened—as in East, South, and South East Asia—or has onlymarginally improved.At its core, food banking is a community-based solution to hunger and food loss and waste thatmany of us are familiar with at the local level. However, to date there has been only limited investigation into the global scale of these vital local efforts. This report, Waste Not, Want Not, is one of thefirst that attempts to quantify the social and environmental impact of the world’s three largest foodbanking entities—The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), European Food Banks Federation (FEBA),and Feeding America. The report is framed through the lens of the Sustainable Development Goals(SDGs), with a strong focus on SDG 2, which aims to zero out hunger by 2030, and SDG Target 12.3,which aspires to halve food loss and waste within the same time frame. It is our hope that throughthis report, the global community can begin to see the vital, macroimpact on human and environmental conditions that food banks are making in thousands of communities across the world.I would like to thank the food banking organizations served by GFN for providing the informationpresented in this report. Their work inspires all of us at GFN daily. I am grateful to the European FoodBanks Federation and to Feeding America for participating in this study so that global figures couldbe calculated. We are fortunate as a global community to be learning from their incredible work asthe food banking model spreads to new communities each year. I am deeply grateful for the generoussupport of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation and Cargill for making this report possible.Significant thanks is owed to the research team for this report. Doug O’Brien, GFN’s vice president ofprograms, oversaw the research process, and Halley Aldeen, director of impact assessment and research, framed the study’s agenda and wrote the analysis and findings. The World Resources Institutegenerously lent its methodology for calculating greenhouse gas emissions and aided the researchteam. Monica Dykas and David Millar provided support. Chicago Creative Group provided exceptionalediting and design services.Most importantly, GFN is grateful for the ongoing support of food banks, partners, donors, and volunteers whose commitment, creativity, and energy make the food bank movement successful.LISA MOONPRESIDENT & CEOTHE GLOBAL FOODBANKING NETWORKTOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not1

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYHunger is a solvable problem. More than enough food is produced in the world to feed everyone, yet an estimated 821 millionpeople—one in nine—still go hungry.3 For the third consecutiveyear, after decades of progress, hunger is once again on the rise.While millions of vulnerable people around the globe go without adequate food tomeet their basic needs, approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption (1.3 billion tons) is lost or wasted.4 The amount of food wasted is enough tofeed more than a billion hungry people.The international community has responded to these and other global trends andchallenges by establishing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)calls for the eradication of hunger and all forms of malnutrition as a fundamentalcondition for sustainable development. This includes ensuring access by all people,particularly the poor and people in vulnerable situations, to safe, nutritious, andsufficient food all year round. SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production)2Waste Not Want Not TOWARD ZERO HUNGER

calls for sustainable consumption and production patterns and includes the SDGTarget 12.3 to halve per-capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levelsand reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvestlosses, by 2030.The food bank model is uniquely positioned to address the paradox of global hungerand food loss and waste. Food banks are truly the “green” hunger relief solution, engaged in a sophisticated, environmentally beneficial surplus recovery and redistribution system. Food banks are community-based, nonprofit organizations that procuresurplus, wholesome food that might otherwise be lost or wasted in the food systemand redirect these surpluses to feed the hungry through networks of local charitiesand grassroots organizations. Food banks represent a “triple win” in the communitieswhere they operate, reducing food wastage and protecting the environment, providing food assistance to hungry and vulnerable people, and strengthening civil societythrough support of local humanitarian charities.FIGURE 1FOOD BANKS’ COLLECTIVE IMPACTSDG 2SDG Target 12.362.5MILLIONNumber of hungry peopleserved by food banksGFN: 811FA: 200FEBA: 388Number of food banksserved*2.68MILLIONmetric tonsFood redirected to the hungry byfood banks and saved from landfills10.54BILLIONKGAmount of greenhouse gasesprevented*Not inclusive of food banks that are independent or not affiliated with GFN, FA, or FEBASource: GFN, FEBA, and Feeding AmericaTOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not3

While hunger relief is at the heart of what food banks do, food banks also addressthe environmental impact of food waste. By diverting food from landfills, food banksreduce land occupation and carbon emissions as well as ensure the environmentaland economic costs that go into the production, processing, and retail stages arenot in vain. Global climate change is a key driver of the recent rise in global hunger.Ultimately drought, excessive rainfall, and extreme temperatures pose a profoundthreat to agricultural productivity, yield, and sustainability.5 In fact, there is evidenceof a correlation between countries that experience high levels of climate shocks andhigh levels of food insecurity.6Today, food banks prevent billions of kilos of safe, wholesome food from ending upin landfills and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions, which then contribute toclimate change and variability. Formal partner food bank networks of GFN, includingFeeding America (United States) and the European Food Banks Federation (membersin 24 European countries and four projects), provided data and useful insights on thescope of their respective networks. Numerous independent food banks and other regional networks, which GFN has only limited information or access to, have not beenincluded in this report, though these food bank organizations similarly have a significant impact in their communities, reducing hunger and mitigating food wastage.Globally, food banks redirect whatwould have become 2,956,484 cubicyards of food waste in landfills andput it to good use to feed hungrypeople. According to Waste360, just1 million cubic yards of debris couldfill a US football stadium and wouldextend 500 feet high.7 If the edible,nutritious food that food banksdistribute to needy people weresent to a landfill, the impact wouldbe tremendous—equivalent toalmost 300,000 large dump trucksor 896 Olympic swimming poolsfilled with food.Food banks in the GFN, FEBA, andFeeding America networks cumulatively mitigate an estimated 10.54billion kilograms of carbon dioxideequivalent (CO2e) annually. Thatmeans that food banks providean environmental impact equal tonearly 2.2 million passenger vehiclesdriven or 1.8 million homes’ energyin the United States per year.4Waste Not Want Not TOWARD ZERO HUNGER

Hunger is a complex problem, requiring numerous interventions toaddress, from efficient agricultureand commercial systems, development aid, equitable economic growth,and government action. The foodbank model is a critical interventionthat represents an important part ofthe solution: local action for globalchange. The unimaginable amount offood directed to landfills presents twoopportunities: to drastically reduceboth loss and waste overall, ultimatelycreating a healthier and more sustainable planet, and to divert otherwisehealthy, edible food to food banks fordistribution to the vulnerable peoplearound the world who need it most.Agenda for global actionEnding hunger and undernutrition (SDG2) is the foundational SDG that catalyzesimprovements across other SDGs, includingenvironmental sustainability, economicdevelopment, community health, equity andinclusion, education, and peace.8 Food banksare a “green” hunger intervention, providingfood assistance to the hungry, building up civilsociety, supporting sustainable food systems,and protecting the environment throughcommunity-based, multisector collaborations.With its tremendous collective impact onreducing hunger, food waste, and greenhousegas emissions that contribute to a changingclimate, food banking can play a vital role increating a more environmentally sustainable,just, and equitable society.RECOMMENDED ACTIONS FORGOVERNMENTS Quantify food loss and waste—supportfood recycling and redistribution Establish public policies to encouragesurplus food donation Partner with food banks to expandthe informal social safety net Direct Official Development Assistancefunding to support food bankingexpansion Measure food insecurity using theFood Insecurity Experience ScaleRECOMMENDED ACTIONS FORBUSINESS Measure and manage food lossand waste Develop and implement a globaldonation policy Standardize date coding Increase support and resourcesfor local food banksRECOMMENDED ACTIONS FORINTERNATIONAL AGENCIES ANDMULTILATERAL INSTITUTIONS Gather better data Utilize food banks for logistics and storageto support in-kind emergency reliefTOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not5

INTRO DUCT IONHUNGER IS ASOLVABLE PROBLEMEnding hunger, undernourishment, and foodinsecurity—and all of the maladies associatedwith them—is one of the greatest challengesof our time. Even after decades of progress, anestimated 821 million people—one in nine—still go hungry, and this number is again on therise.9 Hunger rips at the social fabric of families,communities, and nations, creating a cycle ofpoverty and despair. It also undermines socialand economic development, costing the worldtrillions in lost human potential.106Waste Not Want Not TOWARD ZERO HUNGER

Paradoxically, while millions of vulnerable people around the globe go without adequate foodto meet their basic needs, more than enough food is produced in the world to feed everyone.Approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption (1.3 billion tons) is lostor wasted.11 The amount of food wasted is enough to feed more than a billion hungry people.12Food wastage is also a drain on precious natural resources, including land, water, and energy,and is responsible for significant greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.The link between hunger and food wastage is a challenge that poses significant societal andenvironmental risks now and into the future. Over the next three decades, projections showthat demand for food is expected to rise by an estimated 60 percent as the global populationincreases.13 Recovering wholesome, edible surplus to help feed the hungry, preserve resources,and strengthen food systems can help improve global food security in the coming decades.Food banks are critical to that effort.Food banks are community-based, nonprofit organizations that procure surplus, wholesomefood that might otherwise be lost or wasted and redirect it to feed the hungry throughnetworks of local charities and grassroots organizations. Food banks represent a “triple win” inthe communities where they operate—reducing food wastage and protecting the environment,providing food assistance to hungry and vulnerable people, and strengthening civil societythrough support of local humanitarian organizations.TOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not7


The international community has committeditself to ending hunger and reducing food wasteas part of the United Nations 2030 Agenda forSustainable Development and the SustainableDevelopment Goals (SDGs). SDG 2 (Zero Hunger)calls for the eradication of hunger and all formsof malnutrition as a fundamental condition forsustainable development. This includes ensuringaccess by all people, particularly the poor and peoplein vulnerable situations, to safe, nutritious, andsufficient food all year round. SDG 12 (ResponsibleConsumption and Production) calls for sustainableconsumption and production patterns and includesthe SDG Target 12.3 to halve per-capita global foodwaste at the retail and consumer levels and reducefood losses along production and supply chains,including post-harvest losses, by 2030.Waste Not, Want Not is the second report by The GlobalFoodBanking Network (GFN) to highlight the impactof local food bank organizations, operating in morethan 60 countries around the world, on addressing thefood security needs in their communities. The firstin the series, The State of Global Food Banking 2018:Nourishing the World, provided a snapshot of the GFNmember food banks, the scale of their operations,and the socioeconomic conditions of the nations inwhich they operate. This 2019 report looks at how thecollective work of food banks around the world alignsto the SDGs 2 and 12.3.Throughout the world, food banks operate at thenexus between SDGs 2 and 12.3, mobilizing vast localnetworks of voluntary, grassroots organizations andinitiatives, helping transform lives and communities, and creating global impact as agreen intervention toward zero hunger. Formal partner networks of GFN, includingFeeding America (United States) and the European Food Banks Federation (withmembers and associate members in 28 European countries), provided data anduseful insights on the scope of their respective networks. Numerous independentfood banks and other regional networks for which GFN has only limited informationor access have not been included in this summary report, though these food bankorganizations similarly have a significant impact in their communities, reducinghunger and mitigating food wastage.Source: United NationsTOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not9

PART I: THE CHALLENGES OF HUNGER AND FOOD WASTAGESUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOAL 2:ZERO HUNGERHunger is on the rise after decades of progressSince 2014 the number of undernourishedpeople globally has increased, reversingan almost decade-long trend of decline.Today there are 821 million people whoar

Solution to Hunger WASTE NOT WANT NOT TOWARD ZERO HUNGER Waste Not Want Not: Toward Z ero Hunger The Global FoodBanking Ne twork 2019. Food Banks as a Green Solution to Hunger WASTE NOT WANT NOT TOWARD ZERO HUNGER. The Global FoodBanking Network is an independent, nonpartisan charitable organization. All statements of fact and

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