Representative: Kim Aprill
Feeding Charlotte strives to relieve hunger while reducing waste by connecting surplus, freshly prepared meals with members of our community experiencing food insecurity. This is accomplished through partnerships with restaurants, institutions and caterers that have leftover fresh meals, which are then delivered to local nonprofits that feed our hungry neighbors in Charlotte.
How did your organization start?
Feeding Charlotte got started with a simple conversation among friends who were looking to improve the lives of their fellow Charlotteans. After learning about food rescue organizations in other cities, we started researching how and why they began. During the course of this research we discovered Food Connection, located in Asheville, NC. We were given the opportunity to train with them, and a few months later we became Food Connection Charlotte, a chapter of the Asheville organization.
From where does your passion for this cause come?
Growing up my mother ran a food pantry and often I would tag along to help out. It broke my heart to see people obviously very hungry and desperate for a way to keep their families and themselves healthy and full. I went to graduate school to become a social worker so that I could dedicate my life to helping those who do not have the abundant resources that I have been provided with throughout my life. I strive to teach my children to care for others as well.
Why is your work so important?
This work is extremely important for two reasons. First, we are in the midst of a climate crisis. 40% of all food produced in the US is wasted. When food rots in landfills it releases methane, a greenhouse gas which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says is 20 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide. Second, 35% of all households with children in Mecklenburg County are food insecure. There is not a lack of food, there is a food distribution problem.
What excites you most about the SEED20 process?
I am most excited about learning to tell the Feeding Charlotte story in the most passionate, effective way possible. I have always wanted to become a more emboldened, concise public speaker. The opportunity to go through this process will be invaluable.
What do you hope to gain from the SEED20 experience?
I hope to gain a network of professionals and investors from whom I can draw expertise, resources and ideas. Most important, however, will be to educate the Charlotte community on food waste, food rescue and food insecurity in Charlotte and around the country. I hope to influence and excite others to participate in food rescue both at home and on a larger scale through institutions. Together we can distribute our food supply so that no one has to go hungry.
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