These statistics may be staggering, but they aren’t unique to the U.S. According to the new documentary WASTED: The Story of Food Waste, more than 1.3 billion pounds of food gets thrown away across the globe each year, while 800 million people worldwide go hungry.
But Rick Nahmias wasn’t thinking about these stunning figures while walking through his neighborhood in Valley Glen, California in January 2009. He was a photographer who’d worked extensively with the state’s migrant workers, but on that day he was just trying to get some exercise for his dog, Scout. Glancing at the citrus trees in the yards around him, he realized that most of the fruit — food that could feed otherwise hungry people — would fall to the ground and go to waste unless someone did something. So he did.
With the help of just one other person, Nahmias set to work picking tangerines from a single backyard. By the end of the day, they’d harvested more than 100 pounds of fruit. And Nahmias knew he’d stumbled onto an idea with enormous potential.
Nahmias used that idea to launch Food Forward. During the past 8 years, Food Forward has rescued more than 42 million pounds (over 140 million servings) of produce. The organization has moved beyond just harvesting backyard fruit trees and today works with public orchards and farmers markets to take food that would otherwise be wasted and use it to help hunger relief agencies across eight Southern California counties.
Each month, food recovered by Food Forward feeds more than 100,000 people. And Nahmias says it’s just the beginning. Tune in and learn more about his two-birds-one-stone solution for fighting hunger and food waste.
The numbers are staggering. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma inflicted between 150 and 200 million dollars in damage to Texas and Florida alone. That’s to say nothing of the human cost — thousands of lives disrupted, people displaced and homes destroyed.
The situation is even worse in U.S. territories in the Caribbean. Hurricane Maria essentially destroyed all of Puerto Rico’s infrastructure. Recovery from all three hurricanes will take years — which is exactly why the Disaster Services Corporation of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul USA is there to help.
While the Society of St. Vincent De Paul is a Catholic Charity focused on the needy and suffering that has been around for more than 150 years, the group’s Disaster Services Corporation was born just 12 years ago out of the crisis created by Hurricane Katrina. In this episode, you’ll hear how an unexpected announcement during that disaster caused the organization to take unprecedented steps to help evacuees in an entirely new way. You’ll also learn how a program created back then will bring comfort to the tens of thousands of people impacted by this year’s torrent of hurricanes.
Along the way, you’ll meet the leader of SVDP Disaster Services, Elizabeth Disco-Shearer. She was a successful businesswoman, but changed everything in her life after she made a deal with God — and God held up his end of the bargain.
Find out what her promise was, how it ultimately led her to lead an organization that’s helped thousands of traumatized people put their lives back together. Tune in now.