Waste Not, Want Not Toward Zero Hunger: Food Banks as a Green Solution to Hunger

Hunger is a solvable problem. More than enough food is produced in the world to feed everyone, yet an estimated 821 million people—one in nine—still go hungry. While millions of vulnerable people around the globe go without adequate food to meet their basic needs, approximately one-third of all food produced for human consumption (1.3 billion tons) is lost or wasted. The amount of food wasted is enough to feed more than a billion hungry people.

At its core, food banking is a community-based solution to hunger and food loss and waste that many 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 the first that attempts to quantify the social and environmental impact of the world’s three largest food banking 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.

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