Food. The resource that motivates us, the resource around which many of us revolve our days. However, would you believe that 125-160 billion tons of food go uneaten each year? Below are some of issues the food industry faces, both locally and nationally.
1. Food insecurity is not foreign. It’s right here in our community…and affects thousands.
As of 2018, 18,460 people in Orange County (where our main office is located) are food insecure, meaning that they do not have a reliable, consistent source of food. This includes 4,600 children—or 16.2% of all children under the age of 18—that routinely go hungry.
2. Grocery store produce prices are on the rise.
According to the USDA, fresh vegetable prices have gone up by 6.4% since this time last year, and are projected to rise by 2-3% in 2019. For farm-level vegetables, the price increase is even more alarming, with prices being expected to increase by 9-10% this year. With produce prices streaming upward, having affordable access to their nutrition is becoming even more challenging.
3. Approximately one-quarter of produce retail prices are for transportation.
According to a study at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University, almost half of the nuts, fruit, and vegetables consumed in the U.S. are grown in California. How does this food get distributed throughout the country? Over 90% of produce shipments are carried on refrigerated trucks, which are expensive. For a bit more perspective, consider this concerning stat: over 26% of the retail price of produce is estimated to be due to transportation cost alone… not including local transport!
4. Too much produce is grown and then never eaten.
10.1 million tons of that food gets taken directly to the landfill from the farm, due to their failure to meet market appearance requirements. One estimate says that the U.S. loses 40% of its food this way, a trend that has become to be known as “farm-to-landfill.”
Sprout City is helping our communities eat the fresh food that they deserve. Skip the extensive transportation, cut waste, and provide access to fresh produce to those who are falling victim to rising market prices. With Sprout City’s simple donation and request online form, this is as attainable as ever.