Food banks around the country are struggling to provide for hungry Americans.
The problem isn’t a lack of resources, in fact, in many places billions of dollars of produce are rotting in the fields.
The disconnect lies in the distribution. The trucking industry is simply overwhelmed. Typically, farmed crops are split between restaurants and grocery stores with the excess being donated to food banks. With many restaurants either closed or heavily limited, the supply chain is falling apart link by link.
A group of college students recognized the problem and formed a grassroots movement called FarmLink. Their goal is simple: pay the farmers while redirecting the food waste to charitable organizations.
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The group started in April and has grown to a team of 20 students and recent graduates from a wide range of Universities including USC, Dartmouth, Stanford, Harvard, and Cornell.
To date, they have raised the funds to move almost 240,000 pounds of food and paid out over $4,500 in wages to farmers.
Founding member and Brown University student Will Collier said that “FarmLink has grown thanks to a mix of the team’s personal and corporate relationships, along with donations that pay for the wages of farmworkers and truckers.”
The organization also recently partnered with Uber Freight in a deal that helps FarmLink with transports of food.
As of May 8, FarmLink has moved food in 6 states with plans to expand to 10 more this month. The group aims to move at least 1 million pounds of food by the end of May and 5 million pounds by the end of the summer.
Volunteers, farmers, transportation companies, and food banks can get involved by contacting FarmLink here.