Target announced it would provide $1.3 million in funding to the national hunger-relief organization Feeding America, to support a series of regional farming cooperatives, Business Insider reports. Feeding America, which oversees 60,000 food pantries and 200 food banks around the U.S., will use the funding from Target to both increase the amount of fresh fruit and vegetables available to people in need, and to decrease food waste across the national meal programs.
As the CEO of Feeding America, Diana Aviv stated in a company release:
"There are 42 million people in the U.S. who do not have access to enough nutritious food and are just trying to make ends meet. Our goal is to have fresh produce comprise half the food we distribute by 2025. In the past year, we have distributed more than a billion pounds of fruits and vegetables and with Target's commitment to support Regional Produce Cooperatives, we are moving closer toward that goal."
To that end, Feeding America helped start six regional produce cooperatives around the U.S.: Indiana, serving the Lower Midwest; Minnesota, serving the Upper Midwest; Georgia, serving the Southeast; Pennsylvania, serving the Mid-Atlantic; Washington, serving the Northwest; and Texas, serving the Southwest -- with two more on the horizon. Feeding American relies on network members to fight hunger on the ground.
The nationwide network is broken down into member-led, regional cooperatives on local levels, where each has a main facility that allows them to receive, store, and distribute large amounts of produce on a large scale. Food security is key in their mission, and with Target's donation, they will be able to provide for even more families at a lower cost.
Behind the scenes of stop number five on our little ice cream truck tour! We've had fun learning from @clefoodbank, @fooddepository, @stlfoodbank and @foodbankrockies this week. Thank you all for your amazing work and helping us raise awareness for kids facing hunger in the summer! Next stop? Las Vegas! Want to get involved? Visit the link in our profile to learn more about the #HungryToHelp Project.
The first of these cooperatives opened in Texas and has, to date, already shipped more than 14 million pounds of fresh produce to 21 food banks and local communities around the Lone Star State. The rest of the locations opened in 2017.
"Making better-for-you living accessible and attainable for communities across the country is important to Target and our guests," Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility Jennifer Silberman said in the release. "These cooperatives will help strengthen the neighborhoods where we do business, and give more families across the nation access to healthy food."