Currently, 40% of all food goes to waste in San Diego leaving one in five people in the city food insecure. Food insecurity means, simply, the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.
Supermarkets dispose of too much good food, regular consumers waste groceries, and the erosion of environmental resources means that North Americans lead the world in food waste. It’s a depressing thought for sure. Luckily, YouTuber and activist Rob Greenfield’s new video may give you some hope.
Enter, Nita Kurmins Gilson, the woman bringing fresh fruit to thousands of San Diegans in need. In 2009, Nita learned that one in six people in her county were going to bed hungry. She also saw an abundance of fresh produce going to waste all over the city.
Nita connected the dots to be part of the solution for both food waste and hunger. She began by picking excess fruit from neighborhood trees and hand-delivered it to local food pantries. What started with “one woman, one box, and one car” has expanded to 300 volunteers, and together they have harvested over 100,000 pounds of fresh fruit.
Besides fruit trees, they also harvest excess crops from local small farms, and collect unsold produce from weekly farmers markets.
All to feed children, families, seniors, veterans, and the homeless in need. Nita also speaks to and educates the community about sustainability and food justice. She co-founded CropSwap with the mission to feed the hungry and reduce waste, and she’s doing an amazing job!