Heal Hunger “The Eco-Friendly and healthy way to give”
Your employer, your church, and your kid’s school put out the boxes and ask everyone to drop off excess canned goods for the needy. Then the boxes are collected, sorted, and handed out to the poor. Everyone feels better about themselves, the hungry get fed, and you get to free up some much needed shelf space. It’s win-win-win.
The problem is that, economically speaking, it’s totally insane.
America, after all, is not a country stricken with famine. There’s no objective shortage of food, in other words, that makes it vitally important for you to draw down the stockpile in your kitchen cabinet. Indeed, many of us don’t even have that much food socked away, which leads to us going out to buy extra food in order to give it away. But having 100 different people go out and pay retail prices for a few cans of green beans is extraordinarily inefficient relative to pooling those funds to buy the beans in bulk.
Beyond the economies of scale are the overhead costs. Charities are naturally reluctant to turn down donations for fear of alienating supporters or demoralizing well-wishers, but the reality is that dealing with sporadic surges of cans is a logistical headache. A hastily organized local food drive can actually put more strain on your local food bank than you imagine.” Food dropped off by well-meaning citizens needs to be carefully inspected and sorted. Heal Hungers model, by contrast, can be used to order what’s needed without placing extra burdens on the staff.
A lot of waste also occurs on the other side of the food-donation equation. Food Pantries observe that a surprisingly large proportion of food—as much as 50 percent—provided to needy families in basic boxes winds up going uneaten. When you go to the grocery store, after all, you don’t come home with a random assortment of stuff. You buy food that you like, that you know how to prepare, and that your family is willing to eat. A donation box with high-sodium soups could end up going to people with high blood pressure, and nuts could end up being donated to families with allergic kids. Food Pantry and social service providers know their clients better Hunger Heals has pulled together items people are likely to want and healthy foods that pantries want to provide all the while cutting down on waste.
These concerns have long bubbled beneath the surface of the food-assistance community, but some organizations are being emboldened to speak out thanks to nutritional concerns.