Planet Home Lending, LLC, a national mortgage lender and servicer, has partnered with The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit grassroots movement rescuing millions of pounds of fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste — but will now go to feed people in need.
The Farmlink Project was started in mid-April by college students and recent graduates who saw a need to connect farmers with surplus crops to food banks in need. Since its start, The Farmlink Project has delivered meals to more than 10 million people, during what is now the largest hunger crisis our country has ever seen.
Planet Home Lending’s $15,000 contribution will fund The Farmlink Response Team: Impact Tour, a five-week, cross-country journey to identify U.S. communities most in need, deliver food, tell stories that inspire donations, and raise awareness of this critical problem.
The Farmlink Response Team will stop in more than a dozen cities, delivering another 1.2 million pounds of food to over 1 million U.S families.
“We’re committed to helping people in the communities we call home,” said Planet Financial Group, LLC, CEO and President Michael Dubeck. “The swift, unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 have left too many people struggling with hunger. We’re impressed with the work The FarmLink Project has done to help meet the needs of our neighbors during this challenging time.”
In July, the U.S. Census Bureau estimated more than 29 million people in the U.S. did not have enough food to eat. Meanwhile, farmers who sold to restaurants now have a surplus of produce. The Farmlink Project links those farmers to local food banks, then covers the cost of harvesting and shipping the food.
“We are urgently connecting farms with surplus produce to food banks in need at scale,” said Impact Tour Director Jake B. Nelson. “There is so much work to be done. We greatly appreciate Planet Home Lending’s support at this critical juncture. With Planet helping us spread the word, we can make hunger one less thing about which Americans need to worry.”
During the Impact Tour, the Farmlink Project will film a six-episode documentary series highlighting everyday community heroes fighting food insecurity, and the episodes will be available via its social media accounts.
The Farmlink Project not only feeds the hungry, it also reduces food waste. Annually, the U.S. wastes 31% of food produced, which could help feed families, but instead goes to landfills. Producing, transporting, preparing, storing and disposing of food also wastes land, water, labor and energy. Diverting produce from landfills prevents 17 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, decreasing the rate of human-caused climate change from our agricultural footprint.
“It isn’t often that we see a common-sense solution that solves multiple social challenges,” added Dubeck. “The Farmlink Project makes a difference for people and the planet, and at Planet Home Lending, that’s exactly what we strive to do.”