In 2020, we rescued and diverted into local hunger-relief agencies more than 250,000 servings of Colorado-grown nutrient-dense produce; this amount was 74-percent of our combined organizational totals between 2017-2019. We are seeking funding to hire an additional gleaning & volunteer-outreach coordinator in 2021 so that we can double the amount of surplus protective foods that we rescue this year and help direct it onto the tables of Coloradans in need.
During Covid-19, nearly 2-in-5 Coloradans (38 percent of the population) have had difficulty purchasing enough food to meet their daily dietary needs (and those of their families). Simultaneously, ReFED estimates that 20 billion pounds of protective foods remains unharvested annually on U.S. farms (due, in part, to cosmetic standards imposed upon producers as well as a lack of processing infrastructure). In Colorado, ~304 million pounds of food may remain unharvested yearly across the state.
In 2020, we realized enough funding to hire a third gleaning coordinator and we were able to rescue and divert into area hunger-relief agencies ~250,000 servings of locally grown, nutrient-dense produce. This total was 74 percent of the amount of food we rescued, organizationally, from 2017-2019! Funding four gleaning & volunteer-outreach coordinators in 2021 will help us to rescue even more locally grown, nutrient-dense food and help redistribute it to the tables of those Coloradans in need.
One day, we would love to support a gleaning & volunteer-outreach coordinator in every Colorado county (without existing food-rescue infrastructure). This has the potential to increase community food wisdom (i.e., the appreciation for one's food-a life-giving resource-and for those whose vocations it is to nurture the soil and grow it), the nutritional security of Coloradans, and culturally and economically elevate farmers and ranchers to their proper place as cornerstones of our food system.
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