It all began in 1981 when radio legend Paul Harvey was recounting an occurrence on the air. It was about a woman who confronted her shopkeeper over the seemingly high cost of food items. Knowing nothing about farming, she couldn’t imagine the great and wonderful jobs that farmers do.
A farmer, Dennis Higashiyama, was listening that day, and he immediately took action. He thought of a way to bring the farmer closer to his customers, and thus Farmers’ Consumer Awareness Day was born. It was initiated out of the desire to make his customers see farmers as they truly are: hard workers doing a difficult job, putting food on people's tables.
In spite of the wonderful work that farmers do, many people still deal with a lack of daily food. In fact, both food insecurity and food waste continue to rise across North America. In response to those disturbing trends, three childhood friends launched The Farmlink Project, a nonprofit connecting farms with excess produce to food banks that don’t have enough. According to these young entrepreneurs, U.S. farmers grow enough to feed every person in the country, so the crisis seems to stem from indifference rather than lack of food.
Right away, the nonprofit received hundreds of emails from people wanting to help, and it has already expanded operations to 48 states. With rising grocery prices and long lines at food banks demonstrating the high demand for food, The Farmlink Project hit a milestone in January, recovering 50 million pounds of produce! That’s enough to make 42 million meals! The co-founders received a service award from the Congressional Medal of Honor Society last March, and their names made this month’s Forbes 30 Under 30 list.
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