The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) announced a total of $800,000 in grants for food banking organizations across the globe through the Zero Hunger Food Bank Challenge.
The grants—made possible by a contribution from the General Mills Foundation and additional funding provided by the PIMCO Foundation—aim to strengthen food banks' contribution to achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 2, which is to eliminate global hunger by 2030.
GFN is an international nonprofit organization that strengthens food banks in more than 30 countries. The organization plays a vital role in redirecting surplus, wholesome food to the hungry and reducing food insecurity in nations and communities around the world.
"Tackling food waste and world hunger are two of the most pressing issues facing global communities today,” said Lisa Moon, GFN president and CEO, in a statement. “These grants will go directly to organizations on the frontline, helping them scale operations, ultimately helping more people over the next year. The grants will range from $40,000 to $100,000, making this the largest distribution of funds since GFN's inception in 2006, which is a sign of the increasing focus placed on hunger and food waste around the world."
The grants were announced at the GFN Food Bank Leadership Institute (FBLI), the annual international conference for food bank leaders now in its 13th year. The three-day event featured panel discussions on tackling hunger and food waste with keynote addresses from Tesco CEO Dave Lewis and 2018 World Food Prize Laureate Lawrence Haddad.
"When it comes to addressing world hunger and making the global food system more sustainable, few philanthropic investments have a greater impact than food banks,” said Nicola Dixon, executive director of General Mills Foundation and GFN partner, in a statement. “With investments like this one, we aim to ensure that good surplus food can increasingly be used to nourish hungry people, rather than go to landfills. That's why General Mills has philanthropically invested 17.6 million euro ($20 million) since 2010 to expand food bank capacity around the world—food banks that enabled 3.8 billion meals for hungry people last year leveraging good surplus food."
Organizations awarded grants include Foodbank Australia – Northern Territory, to help expand the food bank's service area to include rural communities and hard-to-reach indigenous populations, and Banco de Alimentos Panama, to develop a program that increases the recovery of fresh produce to enhance the nutritional servings delivered to hungry people. Additionally, food bank organizations in Argentina, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and South Africa will receive funding to expand, establish and increase food bank operation and feed more people facing hunger.