Advancing the Sustainable Development Goals

The bold ambitions of the international community are captured in the Sustainable Development Goals–and food banks help advance progress across all 17 goals.

What are the Sustainable Development Goals?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was adopted by the United Nations in 2015. At the heart of this agenda are the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which lay out the blueprint for the international community to achieve peace and prosperity for people and the planet.

The SDGs tackle a wide range of global issues, from poverty and education, to health and education. All SDGs are interconnectedprogress in one area requires progress in another. And with less than a decade left to achieve this Agenda, progress is sorely lacking across all SDGs.

Resourceful food banks are an integral component of a sustainable and resilient food system; with the right support, they could make an even bigger difference in their communities.
Lisa Moon, GFN President & CEO

How do food banks contribute to SDG progress?

Food banks are uniquely positioned to address SDG 2, Zero Hunger, and SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, specifically Target 12.3, which calls for halving per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reducing food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses, by 2030.

However, food banking’s impact does not end with SDGs 2 and 12.

Food banks advance progress across all SDGs.

Although food banks are most closely associated with SDGs 2 and 12, they are also critical partners across the SDGs. Here are just a few examples:

  • SDG 1, No Poverty; SDG 4, Quality Education: Food banks support school feeding and other child hunger programs that contribute to SDG 2; but research shows that school feeding programs also help reduce poverty (SDG 1) and improve education outcomes (SDG 4).
  • SDG 5, Gender Equality: In a world where 60 percent of undernourished people are women or girls, GFN partner food banks in nearly 50 countries provide critical nourishment to groups that are more vulnerable to food insecurity. It’s well documented that when women have the same resources as men (SDG 5), they are a driving force against hunger, malnutrition, and poverty, especially because women make the majority of the nutrition decisions for their families.
  • SDG 13, Climate Action: Food banks are key to achieving SDG 12, Responsible Consumption and Production, which is a critical driver to achieving SDG 13, Climate Action.
See How Food Banks Address Child Hunger