Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief
As a project of the Environmental Leadership Program, Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief aims to fight for food justice by reducing food waste on campus and food insecurity within the Jacksonville community. This food recovery program collects leftover food from the Osprey Café, campus convenience stores and special events. Volunteers then use the donations to provide nutritious meals to be served through our community partners, the Northeast Florida AIDS Network and Sulzbacher Center.
This project was awarded a $10,000 United Way of Northeast Florida Upstream Grant.
The Food Fighters look forward to continuing their success and expanding their mission to include other sources of food waste, nutrition and food justice educational events for our participants and students.
Volunteers are needed to assist with food recovery efforts on a weekly basis. If you would like to learn more and get involved, you can join the Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief Facebook group or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Food Fighters project addresses two of the most widespread injustices within our food system plaguing our society: food waste and food insecurity. Astoundingly, about 40% of all food sold in the United States goes to waste. Rotting in landfills, this massive amount of food emits methane, a greenhouse gas 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a period of 20 years.
Food insecurity is another injustice the Food Fighters aim to combat. It is defined as the lack of access to healthy and affordable foods. The uncertainty of where their next meal is coming from affects about 1 in every 6 Americans. In Duval County alone about 177,000 people live in food insecurity, the equivalent of 20% of the population. These communities where hunger is prevalent are often referred to as food deserts. More accurately they are food swamps, given they are overabundant with low-nutrient and processed food sources like fast food restaurants and convenience stores as opposed to grocery stores or farmers markets.
An important message of the food justice movement is acknowledging the intersection of food injustices with other injustices present in our society. Food deserts, landfills, factory farms, and other infrastructure of our food system disproportionately impacts low-income communities of color. For these reasons and more, food justice is an important aspect of the growing movement for justice in our country. Action towards eradicating food injustices is an action towards eradicating racial, social, environmental, and economic injustices as well.
3,110 pounds of food recovered.
3,304 meals served.
357 volunteer hours
As of 9/7/17