FeedHV Works to Combat Hunger Locally

FeedHV Works to Combat Hunger Locally

Cassidy Conklin, Copy Editor

On it’s official website, FeedHV is described as “a regional food rescue and harvesting network dedicated to meeting the needs of neighbors while mitigating the impacts of food waste.”

The organization works throughout the Hudson Valley to bring excess food from suppliers to other places, like soup kitchens or food pantries, where the food can be redistributed to people who would not have been able to get food otherwise.

“With nearly 40 percent of all food in the United States wasted–around 20 pounds of food per month, per person–and one in ten American’s experiencing hunger, FeedHV is one of the growing number of food networks across the country dedicated to this mission,” wrote FeedHV.org.

The network spans over Dutchess, Columbia, Greene, Orange, Putnam, Sullivan and Ulster counties in New York.

This is beneficial to both parties as the manufacturers would have to pay to get rid of any of the food that they would not sell in stores or markets. It also gives tax statements to manufacturers and farmers to receive benefits.

Erica Doyle, a program associate for food safety with FeedHV, said that local hunger is a big problem in the Hudson Valley. 

It’s considered a food desert, an area where it’s not easy to get affordable and healthy food. However, it produces a lot of food, and FeedHV works with volunteers to bring that food to where it can be used effectively.

Dan Hart is one of the FeedHV Heroes and has been a driver for the organization for around six months, spending about one to two hours a week transporting food.

“At the end of the day it’s all about alleviating some of that food insecurity that’s out there. It’s all about putting food on people’s tables rather than having it go into a landfill,” said Hart.

A document made by the Community Foundations of the Hudson Valley states that 10 percent of people within the Hudson Valley qualify for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and there are even more that cannot easily get food.

As of January 2021, FeedHV has rescued 306,959 pounds of food, given 255,799 meals, and reduced 319 metric tons of CO2, as well as aiding in even more through redirection.

Anyone over 18 who has a way to transport the food can sign up on ChowMatch where they can then take a food safety quiz that allows them to volunteer. Overall, there are about 300 current volunteers.

There are also times where the food that is grown will not be profitable enough to warrant someone harvesting them. In this case, there are volunteer gleaning teams that will go out to the fields to gather leftover crops.

“I feel very passionately about food,” said Hart. “It’s outrageous that in the world in which we live, so much food goes to waste while some many people are hungry.”