Climate Change and Food Banks

Climate Change and  Food Banks
 Food banks are philanthropic non-profit establishments that serve as locations where individuals in need can get food and amenities. Communities frequently have food banks set up so that donated food can be stored there. They collaborate and link up with supermarkets, catering companies, manufacturers, retailers, exporters, farmers and all other food suppliers who contribute food that would otherwise go to waste. However, they also rely significantly on food drives, individual donations, and surplus food supplied in huge numbers. Even though, Food banks are professionals at collecting and distributing food to people in need, they also do other things.
The food bank concept can fill in the gaps for answers to some of the most difficult problems the world is facing, such as climate change, food insecurity, the crisis of the rising cost of living, malnutrition, and more. However, let’s talk about food banks and climate change. Due to inefficient consumption, Kenya loses and wastes Ksh 72 billion ($0.48 billion) worth of food every year. According to UNEP and Waste and Resources Action Programme’s (WRAP) Food Waste Index Report 2021, each Kenyan discards an average of 99 kilos of food annually, with the nation as a whole 5,217,367 tons of food every year is wasted. Food that is thrown out  after being prepared before being consumed always decomposes and releases methane, an even stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. In addition, when food is wasted, the resources that were utilized to make it are also wasted. According to the United Nations, a third of the food produced globally today is wasted before it even reaches the table. Additionally, food waste that rots in landfills releases methane.
In the period between 2010 and 2016, according to the study from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, food loss and waste are estimated to have contributed to 8 to 10% of the emissions of the gases that cause global warming. As a result, issues caused by climate change such as decreased yields, increased costs, decreased nutritional content, and interruptions in the supply chain have an increasingly negative impact on food security. Although the results vary by nation, the low-income nations of Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean have seen the most severe repercussions.
Businesses, governments, and individuals worldwide must all take action to reduce food waste if we are to make any progress in addressing issues like climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, and waste. Despite the fact that food spoilage is a worldwide issue, Africa has a higher prevalence of it due to a lack of physical infrastructure and technological failures. 40 percent of food is wasted before it can be consumed due to inadequate  facilities, post-harvest losses, and volatile markets. Due to information flow being monopolized by a select few people in the agricultural value chain, middlemen have held captive farmers and consumers as well.
Currently, Food Banking Kenya (FBK) works to reduce food loss and waste by sourcing wholesome surplus food from all facets of the food system, including farms, retailers, wholesalers, food producers, manufacturers, and distributors. In 2021 Foodbanks under the global food bank network in 47 different countries (FBK being one of them) gathered safe surplus food from every level of the food system, preventing 1.7 billion kilograms of greenhouse gas emissions which is equivalent to emission produced by 365000 cars. This is as a result of food banks discovering how much food is wasted and how much it affects the environment. Carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent to 3.3 gigatons is released from the wastage of 1.3 gigatons of edible food, meaning that approximately 2.5 kg of CO2 is released for every kilogram of food wasted. Food waste also creates methane, a greenhouse gas (GHG) that is 25 times more potent than CO2 when it goes to landfill.
At the moment the most pervasive and harmful greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is present in the atmosphere at the greatest amounts ever observed. Furthermore, the main source of the high amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is brought about by human activity, some of which is done consciously and some of which is done unknowingly. The gases prevent heat from escaping into space by absorbing solar energy and keeping it near the Earth’s surface. If there is an overabundance of these greenhouse gases, the Earth’s atmosphere may start to retain more and more heat. As a result, this causes global warming due to increased temperatures.
Every year, Food Banking Kenya recovers and rescues more than 400 tons of food from various food system sectors which could have gone to waste, resulting to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. By doing this, Food Banking Kenya and other like-minded organizations in Kenya and other countries serve as important partners in attaining SDG target 12.3, which calls for a reduction in global food loss and waste by half. As well as SDG target 13 which calls for making efforts to combat climate change and its disastrous effects.
# Climate Change, # Stop Food Waste, # Sustainable Living, # Zero Food Waste, # End Hunger, # Good Food Good Life, # Zero Hunger, # Good Food for All