The Collaborative for Fresh Produce fights food waste and helps food banks provide fresh produce to hungry families across the country. We aggregate regional food bank demand, source high quality and affordable produce from wholesalers and farms, and distribute the appropriate quantity and mix to local food banks, increasing access to fresh, healthy food for those who need it most.
Hunger: 1 in 8 Americans go hungry, skip meals, or rely on food banks to fill in the gaps. For those 46 million Americans, poor health is also a problem, with 66% of food-insecure households having to choose between food or medical care.
Food Access: Fresh, healthy produce remains inaccessible to many, especially those in low income neighborhoods that lack access to grocery stores and other sources of fresh, affordable food. This lack of available fresh produce is not a problem of supply, it’s a problem of distribution.
Food Waste: An estimated 6 billion pounds of edible produce a year is left in fields to rot or disposed of, leaving farmers, wholesalers, and retailers at a loss for surplus crop and overstocking.
Supply Chain Logistics: Food banks play a key role in creating access to healthy food, but the logistics of acquiring and distributing highly perishable food like fruits and vegetables can be challenging. Unpredictable supply, competition in the secondary market, large quantities of a single commodity, and inefficiencies in coordination are just a few of the hurdles food banks encounter when looking to secure produce at an affordable rate.
An efficient supply chain strategy can help food banks meet demand for fresh, affordable, and diverse produce while also helping farmers and wholesalers recoup their costs on surplus product.
By aggregating food bank demand and centralizing produce market expertise to benefit food banks, we maximize efficiency through planning shipments from the right vendors to the right food banks at the right time. We also meet smaller food banks’ individual needs by providing mixed commodity truckloads through our mixing center.
We address the issue of food waste by specializing in purchasing second grade produce, which is just as nutritious as retail grade product though often less aesthetically pleasing. We provide farmers and packers with a positive outlet for these "seconds", which are perfect to meet food bank demand.
With a streamlined and efficient supply chain, the Collaborative for Fresh Produce will become the top source of produce for food banks and the top outlet for surplus produce from growers.