Even though the coronavirus outbreak has obviously caused a whole lot of things in the world, mostly in a very negative and devastating way, there are also some other things that can be linked to the pandemic. For example, during the very first lockdowns, we saw more animals in cities and significantly better air quality, among other things.
Another result of the current world situation is that there’s actually a big excess of food waste, which is a shame.
The shortages in food banks have never been higher, and at the same time, millions of pounds of perfectly edible food were all just going to waste.
In what is without a doubt the most challenging and difficult time in recent years for most families, a lot of people are at risk of going hungry. George Ahearn from Othello, Washington, realized that there was a ton of food being thrown away, while it could be perfectly used to feed hungry mouths.
The kind-hearted man was ambitious, and he wanted to make a major difference for a ton of people.
George actually grew up on a farm, and immediately realized what kind of an effect the pandemic would have on the local farmers in the area.
The first thing that would be disturbed is the supply chain, and when that happens, a chain reaction pretty much ensues. Crop prices would drastically fall, and tons of perfectly good produce would have to be thrown away.
It’s pure, unnecessary waste, especially in times like these. George decided to do something about it.
Right away, the man sprung into action. He got in touch with a number of food banks in the area, as well as known homeless shelters. These organizations were all in need of food and simply didn’t have any to hand out anymore. Because of the problems in the supply chain, they suffered from severe shortages.
Luckily, George saw himself as a sort of liaison between the food banks and the local farmers. He worked out an idea that would connect both parties, so they could help each other.
However, regulations made things quite difficult at the beginning.
After all, food banks have very strict safety regulations in place, so farmers couldn’t just bring at a truckload of their crops and call it a day. All of the donated produce had to be washed and bagged, and it would be an operation that George simply couldn’t handle on his own.
Luckily, he found some helping hands.
George started his own non-profit specifically, for this reason, to make sure that otherwise wasted food would go to families in need.
He calls it EastWest Food Rescue, and the charity has definitely made rounds online. A woman named Nancy Balin was appointed the co-founder of the non-profit.
The fact that Nancy decided to help out actually proved to be a major help. She already runs the Farmer Frog non-profit, which cultivates school gardens in Washington.
In other words, she already had some experience under her belt, and the two were able to organize a dropoff of more than 60 tons of food in the very first week they started collecting.
After the first load, they actually organized two more convoys with around 70 tons of food. George wants to keep the non-profit going.
“That’s 140,000 pounds. Surely we have flooded the market, and we should be proud of ourselves, and that’s it. Three days later and there was not a potato or onion here. I realized that we need to do this again, and we got to do this for months,” George said to CNN.
Of course, farmers can’t just keep on donating food forever, but George has that all figured out as well.
All farmers who join forces with EastWest Food Rescue are compensated for their efforts, which was made possible thanks to donations. It’s not the amount they would get if they could sell it, but it would otherwise be wasted anyway, so this is a perfect win-win alternative.
The charity has ramped up its activities across the country, and they have no intention of stopping.
A lot of people were inspired by his mission, and are now doing what they can to help out and support the local community.
“I have seen minutes of effort move thousands, and thousands of pounds (of food). Just figure out what you are passionate about and what you could get involved in,” George concluded.
You can check out George’s amazing story in the video below!
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