One way to help combat hunger in America is to also fight to reduce food waste. Almost half of the food grown, harvested and transported goes to waste in the United States.According to Feeding America, seventy-two billion pounds of food goes to waste each year, while forty million people are hungry in America. Feeding America works with companies and farmers to recover and distribute more than 3 billion pounds of food per year in order to give it to families that are in need. Also, according to The National Resource Defense Council, "if we were able to rescue just 15% of the food we waste each year, we’d save enough to feed 25 million Americans."Here at Food For Thought, we work with local businesses to receive food that would otherwise be thrown out to be donated and used within our programs. The new Paula Deen's Family Kitchen restaurant in the Destin Commons will be donating unused ingredients, vacuum sealed, which we will be able to freeze and store for future use in classes in our Emeril Lagasse Full Circle Kitchen.Reducing food waste is just one other way we can help to fight hunger in our community!More information on reducing food waste can be found here:
For the last eight summers, Food For Thought Outreach has provided food to students in need while they are on Summer Break. Students that are free and reduced meal programs during the school year, miss on average 110 meals over the summer, which is why Food For Thought does not stop providing meals to these kids over Summer Break.
The FFT Summer Program serves both Okaloosa and Walton Counties, providing 66K meals to 600 students over three months. The students involved in the summer program are able to pick up a month's worth of food, three times at our pick-up locations located within both counties.
By continuing to keep kids fed throughout the summer, it is empowering these students to stay nourished and not worry about where their next meal will come from while they are out of school. We are looking forward to be able to provide food to our students throughout the summer in hopes they will be able to enjoy their break as much as possible.
As the heartbeat of Food For Thought Outreach, here is an update to what our Backpack Program currently provides. Each week, students who are on a free and reduced meal plan at school, receive a backpack of food to bridge the hunger gap they face over the weekend at home.
Food For Thought Fun Facts:
- 33rd school added during the 2018/29 school year
- (this program began with one school just 10 years ago!)
- 3,300 Students are served each week in two counties
- 40K food items are purchased and distributed every week
- 250 volunteers are needed every week to fill the backpacks
In order to fill the backpacks with 10 food items for these students, it takes $5 per student, per week, as well as volunteers to pack and deliver these backpacks to schools across Okaloosa and Walton Counties.
We are very proud of how this program has evolved over the last ten years and excited to see how the backpack program will continue to grow to serve more families in need in our community.
Learn more today to volunteer or donate at: www.fftfl.org