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What food banks need to prevent the worst of the coming recession

What food banks need to prevent the worst of the coming recession

What food banks need to prevent the worst of the coming recession

After a year of rising inflation and supply chain shocks in 2022, with little easing expected in 2023, many of the world’s economies are now staring at the prospect of a recession next year.

As countries and international businesses gather at Davos, the World Economic Forum is called upon to take “bold collective action” to address “the vast number of ongoing crises.”

Ultimately, access to healthy foods will be at the forefront of the coming economic turmoil, as severe food insecurity is projected to reach a new peak, even surpassing the food crisis of 2007-2008. There will be

Poorer communities will be most affected by the ongoing economic crisis because they generally pay a higher share of their income for basic needs such as food. In Colombia, for example, inflation remains at around 12%, but by December 2022 food inflation will reach 32%, disproportionately affecting the most vulnerable in society. I’m here.

A possible recession this year also follows other recent famines and food crises. Demand for food bank services, which provide communities with an important buffer against hunger and food insecurity, has already increased significantly since his COVID-19 pandemic in many parts of the world, and last year.

Now in the fourth year of the pandemic and economic instability looks set to continue, food banks have a critically important role to play in addressing today’s interconnected crises. will continue to do.

From hunger and nutrition to the growing impact of climate change and the food system’s contribution to climate change, food banks offer multifaceted solutions in the short and long term. Importantly, food banks help ensure that people who are already vulnerable are not left to fend for themselves when a recession arrives, and they are the central food insecurity in our society. It can also be incorporated as a solution.

To protect the most vulnerable people in society from these growing challenges, countries and businesses will further integrate food banks into their plans to address the interconnected crises of hunger, climate change and growing economic instability. is needed.

First of all, governments should move to adopt more supportive policies for food donations and broader social protection.

The Global Food Donation Policy Atlas is a joint effort between the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic (FLPC) and my organization, The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN), to promote food donations and food donations in many parts of the world. It indicates an ineffective policy on disposal. It prevents food banks from reaching their full potential to support their communities.

For example, few governments use tax incentives to encourage food donations from manufacturers, retailers, and other businesses. This is despite being an important means of reducing food waste and ensuring that healthy, nutritious food is available to those who need it most.

Second, businesses should ensure that they implement food donation policies and support initiatives that reduce food loss and waste.

This is especially important as food losses and waste from businesses represent a significant proportion of the total. In the UK, for example, food waste from manufacturing, hospitality, food service and retail accounts for 31% of the country’s total food waste.

By increasing support for food recovery organizations so that surplus food does not end up as waste, businesses will play a key role in addressing the common crises of hunger, climate change and rising economic instability. should be able to

For example, the Global Food Banking Network mobilized business support in response to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, ultimately serving up to 40 million people worldwide, up from 17 million in 2019. Did.

Finally, governments and businesses must come together to better track and manage food loss and waste in our society.

The impact of food loss and wastage, and the missed opportunity this represents in addressing hunger and climate problems, cannot be underestimated, but to effectively address its root causes, we must first integrate these numbers. must be developed to track, measure, and manage

Closer support by governments and businesses to food recovery organizations not only helps us better understand how much food is lost and wasted in our societies, but also how this food ends up ensures that it serves the right purpose of helping communities in need.

Nearly four years ago, food banks played a key role in helping communities around the world survive the worst of the first COVID-19 pandemic, providing food and assistance during a time of unprecedented need. Did.

Now food banks can once again tackle the challenges of hunger and food insecurity that are increasing around the world. Stronger and more unified support from governments and businesses can maximize our impact on the most vulnerable communities.

Lisa moon is CEO Global Food Banking Network (GFN) is a network that connects over 950 food banks in over 40 countries around the world.

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