Southern California - particularly L.A. County - produces the majority of the nation's produce, and because of this, food waste has become a problem in the community, as food makes up over 15.5% of California's waste stream. Despite this, data shows that one out of seven people in the area are considered "food insecure," or in a position where they are financially unable to purchase nutritionally adequate food.
With this much food going to waste and this many people having inadequate access to nutritionally dense food, multiple organizations have risen to the plate to fix the problem, most notably Food Forward. Food Forward began as an organization based out of Los Angeles County in 2009 and now has spread to work with eight counties in Southern California to recover and harvest food. They, then, donate this food to hundreds of hunger relief organizations. Over the past 7 years, Food Forward has helped feed 100,000 people and has recovered 25 million pounds of produce. Because of this incredible local feats, the organization has been recognized with many environmental awards and is continually trying to spread their outreach.
I am particularly passionate about this organization because a close friend of mine had the opportunity to volunteer for an event of theirs. He essentially taught me about the food waste problem in my home, Southern California, and presented the jarring facts and disparities that I have illustrated in this infographic. Through this infographic - as well as volunteering with organizations like this and others in the future - I hope that I, too, can educate individuals from my home about this problem and help foster rising organizations like Food Forward to have an even more prominent influence in local communities than they already do.