In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in a food-insecure household (Colemen-Jensen, Gregory, and Singh, 2014). Yes, that is in America, one of the wealthiest countries in the world. People are going hungry. In stark contrast, 24.9 million tons of food waste ends up in American landfills. In turn, this food waste generates methane gas, contributing to the global warming climate change crisis. (Fact: End Food Waste Now. Corperation 2013) Much of this waste is healthy, edible food that can be consumed safely. That is right, American's are throwing away tons of food while million of Americans are going hungry.
Food Riders is a concept - a strategy - to impact both the staggering number of hungry people in America as well as the methane gas produced from landfills. It was born out of an offshoot from a bicycle club in Southern California on the Orange Coast College (OCC) campus. Over the past five years, Carl Morgan and a group of volunteers have gathered to pick up hot food from the college cafeteria on Wednesdays and Fridays that was not sold and was deemed waste. This food was safely packaged and delivered about 5 miles down the road to a food pantry. There is was repackaged into individual and family sized portions, refrigerated and distributed to needy people the following Monday.
This has happened each and every week for the past 5 years. On average, the OCC Food Riders repurpose 200 pound of food per week. That's 10,400 pounds of food a year and over 50,000 pounds over the past 5 years! This was hot food that was fresh off of the cafeteria line. Food like roast beef, Chicken Marsala, lasagna, sauteed vegetables, deli meats, fruit salads, and even apple pie. That's over 50,000 pounds of food over the past 5 years that would otherwise gone to the landfill creating methane. All delivered by a group of bicycling volunteers. Here is the point though, the food could have been delivered by anyone with a type of transportation. The bicycles are fun and environmentally friendly, but repurposing food, providing a good meal that includes high quantity proteins to hungry Americans, is the core of the Food Riders model.
This is Food Riders. We are a grass roots group of committed people, who help others. Food Riders make a difference. 60,000 pounds of difference over the past six years!
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