As a continuation of our efforts to make fresh food accessible to all, we’re excited to announce a new partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank! By complementing our business’ core strengths with philanthropy, we’ll maximize our impact and give Afresh employees the opportunity to connect with and serve their communities.
At Afresh, our mission is to eliminate food waste and make fresh food accessible to all. The solutions we build are aligned with that mission by helping grocery retailers eliminate food waste, reduce shrink, and improve operations. Through our Fresh Operating System, we’ve even enabled grocers to lower prices, making fresh food more accessible to the communities those stores serve.
We are committed to doing good that goes beyond our business impact by directly serving individuals and families that struggle with food insecurity. Facilitating opportunities for our employees to address hunger directly in their communities complements our business impact, contributes to the charitable food system, and continues our mission of making fresh food accessible to all.
That’s why we’re excited to announce our partnership with the San Francisco-Marin (SFM) Food Bank, an organization that takes a fresh-first approach to ending hunger in the San Francisco-Marin community, where Afresh is headquartered. In fact, the SFM Food Bank distributed about 80 million pounds of food to its local communities in 2020 alone. Of that, nearly 60% were farm-fresh fruits and vegetables, which is among the highest in the nation for food banks.
During our first volunteer day on November 18, thirty-one Afreshies went to the Bessie Carmichael Food Pantry—just a ten-minute walk from our San Francisco office. Our team packed 650 grocery bags with items like rice, vegetable oil, carrots, cucumbers, celery, eggplants, asparagus, pears, mandarins, kiwis, bananas, and chicken, which will feed families directly in that community.
“Food shapes the day-to-day experience of everyone. The opportunity to eliminate food waste and increase access to fresh, nutrient-dense food is why we started this company and our new partnership with San Francisco-Marin Food Bank will further help us achieve that goal,” said CEO and co-founder of Afresh, Matt Schwartz.
Through this partnership, we’ll support the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank by dedicating volunteer hours from our employees and monetary support from the company. And as we hire new Afreshies and expand our customer base throughout the U.S., our engagement with food banks will grow purposefully alongside that, giving our dispersed team the chance to contribute to these efforts no matter where they call home.
“Businesses that put social impact at the forefront are necessary in the world today," said Katy McKnight, Director of Community Engagement at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank. “We’re excited to partner with Afresh as we continue to work towards ending hunger in our community.”
Food insecurity is a big problem. And it’s solvable.
According to Feeding America, food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. It’s one way we can measure how many people cannot afford food. This can be a temporary situation for a household or can last a long time. And the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted just how many people in the U.S. lack consistent access to food:
- Every community in U.S. includes individuals who struggle to afford or get access to food
- Before the pandemic, 1 in 9 individuals experienced food insecurity
- Since 2020, food insecurity has grown to impact more than 42 million people
The San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is committed to ending hunger. And we’re on a mission to make fresh food accessible to all. The cost of food is high and continues to rise, which causes many to rely on food banks as a source for food. At Afresh we want to provide those who live and work among us with fresh food, serving everyone with dignity and respect. And as we expand our technology into new stores and regions, we’ll continue to work with organizations like the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank that are addressing hunger in their communities.
“We believe that business can, and should be, a force for good. As a rapidly growing social impact company, we are proud of the growing positive impact of our core products and we’re excited to explore how philanthropic, volunteering, and advocacy opportunities can grow alongside that,” explains CEO and co-founder Matt Schwartz. “While our partnership with the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank is a first for Afresh, we’re looking for opportunities to replicate volunteerism and giving across the US and among our dispersed team.”
At Afresh we are always marching toward a brighter future and we’re excited to create shared value that drives sustainability in fresh departments and increases access to food where our partners and employees work and live. We’ll continue to expand our community partnerships in alignment with the pace of our company’s growth. So while we continue to leverage technology to eliminate food waste in the fresh food supply chain, we’ll continue to complement our business strengths by strengthening our communities as well, working to ensure the communities Afreshies call home have access to the fresh and nutritious food everyone needs.