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ProduceGood - Reducing Hunger and Food Waste while Building Community

With 40% of all food going to waste, and 1 in 3 people struggling with food insecurity, how can we solve this terrible twin statistic? We can ProduceGood!

© Nita Kurmins Gilson

Who, What and When?

We are a nonprofit NGO with a staff of 4, we utilize over 1,000 volunteers yearly to help glean/harvest excess fruits and vegetables from over 600 growers and deliver this food to over 60 partner feeding organizations in San Diego county, California.

Background and Goals

A local organization founded and operated by 3 San Diego women, ProduceGood raises community awareness to support food waste prevention and nutrition security in San Diego County. Every week, ProduceGood facilitates the collection of 15,000 servings of fresh produce donated by backyard growers, farmers and grocers to supply feeding partners who serve the 1 in 3 San Diegans facing nutrition insecurity. Fresh produce supplies vital vitamins and minerals to individuals and families struggling with hunger and feeding.
Partners indicate that a heightened demand for food has continued since the start of the pandemic with 1 in 3 now struggling with hunger. With the help of 3,000 volunteers, ProduceGood operates throughout the county to connect over 500 growers with over 50 feeding partners. Through 1.5 picks a day led by community volunteers, ProduceGood has increased fresh produce recovery by 4000% since 2014 to reduce food waste and hunger in one sweet step.

ProduceGood has two main food recovery programs: CropSwap (backyard gleaning) and Market Share (Farmer's Market food recovery). Between these two programs, ProduceGood has gleaned over 1 MILLION pounds of excess produce, provided over 3 million servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to San Diego's food insecure, and kept 500 TONS of perfectly edible food from entering the landfill.
Every day we are reducing hunger and food waste in one sweet step, while building a community dedicated to addressing the inequities of our present food system.

Tired of reading? Find out more about our work in our viedos:

What is Gleaning?

How We Feed The Need in San Diego

Why ProduceGood? One Growers Story

 

Learning together

What were the biggest difficulties in implementing the project and how did you deal with them?

Raising awareness of the issue continues to be a constant challenge. All of our volunteers and supporters are considered ambassadors of our mission to reduce hunger and food waste. Our role in the food system is a bit unique, as we are not producers of food, nor distributors of food (like a food bank). We are connecting the source to the need, as we understand that the problem is not that there is not enough food, the problem is that there is not enough access to the food by the people who need it.

Which support is (or has been) essential for the success of the project?

We rely on funding from many sources (governmental, corporate and private) but the most essential support continues to be on the individual level, not only financially, but the thousands of people who volunteer their time and effort to spread the "gospel of glean"!

What would you do differently if you had to start all over again?

We would have started developing relationships with local governments earlier, because it takes a very long time to establish legitimacy within a bureaucratic system, and we need that ongoing support to sustain our mission and keep it going into the future.

How could researchers support your project? Which questions have remained unanswered so far?

As a very viable option to reducing food waste, gleaning needs to be highlighted wherever possible. It is an ancient practice that has great value in the modern world and especially as it pertains to the massive amount of wasted food.

Would exchange and/ or support be helpful?

We would love an exchange of ideas and models, particularly any innovations from fresh food recovery organizations.

Kontakt

Organisation: Produce Good

Name der Ansprechperson: Nita Kurmins Gilson

Website: www.producegood.org

Adresse: 4057 Via De La Paz, Oceanside, CA 92057

E-mail: producegood.nita@gmail.com

Telefon: 760-415-4296

 

CC Lizence: BY-NC - Attribution-NonCommercial

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