Food insecurity across North America is on the rise. According to Feeding America, an estimated 43 million people in the United States – 13 million of those children – may face food insecurity this year.
At Mosaic, our role in fighting hunger starts with the work our employees do each day to help the world grow the food it needs and extends to our backyards. Across North America, we invest over $1.5 million each year to address food insecurity and hunger and foster strong partnerships with the over 59 food organizations in the communities where we operate in Florida and Louisiana.
Reliable infrastructure is key to ensuring food organizations can handle the volume of products they are required to move each day to feed populations in need. We proudly support improvements made to infrastructure to equip and position our partners to run effective food programming. Here are just a few examples of infrastructure we have supported locally to date.
13 percent of Hardee County residents are food insecure, half of whom are children (* George W. Jenkins End Hunger Initiative – United Way of Central Florida (uwcf.org)). Throughout our over 10-year partnership, we have helped Cutting Edge Ministries Inc. (CEM) address a need to serve a growing number of people who utilize their services.
“Thanks to Mosaic funding, and through the Fresh Food Expansion Project, we completed the expansion of our building. The added space gives us the ability to store, stock and keep food safely on-site,” shares Wendell Smith. “Funding was also provided for a refrigerated truck that went into service in 2015 and increased capacity to carry more fresh produce on deliveries.”
In 2015, we also provided CEM with a grant to purchase a new forklift, which addressed an increased need to manage pallets of food and fresh produce more efficiently.
All Faiths Food Bank is the sole Food Bank, and largest hunger relief organization, serving at risk community members in Desoto County. Because their service area is so far reaching, they needed to be more accessible to community members in regions located at a distance from the Food Bank.
“In 2018, the food bank set a goal of increasing their reach by five percent, but they needed an additional vehicle to do so,” shares Heather Nedley, Mosaic’s Public Affairs Manager in Desoto County. “With funding from Mosaic, and other corporate sponsors, a new vehicle was purchased to deliver food throughout DeSoto County and pick up food donations from the Walmart Distribution Center and other retailers located in DeSoto County.”
AFFB provides food to people in need at food pantries, soup kitchens, schools, youth organizations, senior centers, and emergency shelters.
The Fast Food Farm, Inc. in St. James Parish, Louisiana is an award-winning teaching farm that highlights the importance of agriculture through student education. It is also home to the Mosaic Kid’s Kitchen, a teaching kitchen that also houses the Farm’s supplies and an office for the Farm’s Executive Director.
“The Fast Food Farm has made great progress in the past 20 years, and it has been in large part from the support of Mosaic,” said Denise Hymel, Executive Director, Fast Food Farm, Inc. “The Mosaic Kid’s Kitchen provides us with a space to provide hands-on learning to the thousands of students that visit the Farm each year with the added benefit of additional space to store items and conduct meetings.”
Mosaic’s partnership with the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank, which services an 11-parish area including St. James Parish, dates back over 20 years. Our support includes purchasing refrigerated trucks to allow the Food Bank to bring fresh produce, dairy, and protein products to rural areas in the region. We have also sponsored a temperature-rated forklift. The forklift allows the Food Bank to move fresh produce efficiently and safely in and out of their new cooler, which was installed during the Covid-19 pandemic to help provide for even greater numbers of food-insecure families and individuals. In addition, the improved turning radius gained with the equipment meant that the Food Bank could use the entire bin space, where a quarter was unusable with the regular forklifts. Maneuvering safely throughout the area also means that repairs to the racks will not be needed, saving the organization additional dollars.
“One in every six Louisiana residents struggles with food insecurity. Mosaic’s generous support of the Food Bank is helping improve the lives of people right here in our community,” said Michael Manning, President and CEO, Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. “Without the continued support of partners like Mosaic, we would not be able to complete our work to help those in need, particularly now, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to impact our world.”
Hunger Action Month
Follow along throughout September, deemed Hunger Action Month across the country, as we join others in the stand against hunger. We will highlight the role our employees play in the fight against hunger and share the impact our partners have made in the communities where we operate.