College Students Come Up With Awesome Way To Help Farmers And Feed Families In Need
They're going right to the source to get food to those who need it most.
From the coronavirus crisis to the mysterious arrival of something called 'murder hornets,' the world seems to be moving from one catastrophe to the next these days.
Thankfully, there are some great minds at work and people are coming up with solutions (except for the murder hornets – we may be on our own for that one).
That includes a group of college students who are working together to help pay farmers while redirecting their food waste to those who need it most.
A group of college students is fighting hunger while eliminating food waste all over the country. The FarmLink Project/Facebook
Since restaurants and schools have closed and demand has sharply decreased, farmers around the country have been forced to throw away millions of pounds of food. At the same time, lines at food banks stretch for miles as people lose their jobs and face the devastating economic effects of the crisis.
College students James Kanoff at Stanford and Aidan Reilly at Brown started the FarmLink project in April to help solve both of those problems.
"Our goal is to get produce where it is needed most," Will Collier, a senior at Brown and member of the FarmLink team, told NowThis. "No food bank should have to turn people away during this crisis."
FarmLink has partnered with Food Finders to help get food from farms to food banks throughout southern California. The FarmLink Project/Facebook
Although FarmLink is a non-profit, they're using any donations they receive to pay wages for farmers and delivery drivers.
The group has already redirected over 239,000 pounds of food from farmers to food banks and paid $4,500 in wages, according to the running ticker on the FarmLink website.
In April, the students moved 50,000 pounds of onions from Oregon to a food bank in Los Angeles, and earlier this month they rented a truck to divert 10,000 eggs from a California farm. They plan to hit other states soon, now that their network of volunteers and farmers is growing.
FarmLink helped move 50,000 pounds of onions to Food Finders in April. The FarmLink Project/Facebook
"We have received hundreds of notes, emails, and comments," Collier said. "We've built a network of people across the country who want to participate in a multitude of ways."
Most farmers are located in rural areas in remote states, so having a resource like FarmLink could be a game-changer.
"We are connecting farmers in Maine and North Carolina to a food bank in Washington, D.C.," Collier continued. "All the farmers we spoke to want to help but recognize they don't have the ability to connect past food banks in their area."
What an awesome way to help fight hunger while providing a way for farmers to put their surplus crops to good use. We can't wait to see how this incredible initiative continues to grow!
The team redirected 10,000 eggs directly from farm to a food bank in West Los Angeles!The FarmLink Project/Facebook