#9 The Hubbub About Hunger & Fonda’s Funding for the Future
“I used to care about the environment, but then I went to America and just thought "what's the point." We have big cars [in the UK], but theirs are enormous. The average car is like a bungalow with a windscreen."
- Sean Lock
In a world that’s barreling towards a global population of 9.7 billion people, food access is a more pressing issue than ever. As of 2017, an estimated 11% of the world (797 million people) suffer from undernourishment, so it’s more than shocking that 1/3 of all food is either lost or wasted. That’s about one billion tons (900 million metric tons) of food every year, according to a 2019 United Nations study, and the retail and food service levels of the system accounts for almost 40% of this.
While the United Nations, United States, and many other governmental bodies have announced food waste “goals”, organizations like Hubbub are the real change-makers, filling in the many gaps of the food system. Hubbub, a United Kingdom-based charity, works with over 2,300 organizations internationally to design campaigns that benefit the environment, and their recent food waste initiative, Food Connect, is already bearing fruit.
Food Connect uses a two-step approach wherein surplus is collected from retailers and other businesses to reduce the waste they’d otherwise create. The food is then delivered across Food Connect’s already-established network of over 250 community fridges. These fridges are more than a food pantry, though. With privacy concerns preventing many from using such resources, Hubbub designed these as social spaces that connect the community through eating and learning. This fosters a more welcoming environment where someone is less likely to feel they’re sacrificing their pride by using the resource
Food Connect isn’t just concerned with food, though; they ensure every part of the process is as green as possible. Conscious of their carbon footprint, their volunteer-led transport fleet consists entirely of electric cargo bikes and electric vehicles to reduce their emissions to zero.
What’s more exciting, Food Connect actually works. After the program was piloted in Milton Keynes from September 2020 to February 2021, Food Connect was able to provide six full-time jobs and save over 264 tons (240 metric tons) of food waste. While their all-electric vehicles still use fossil fuels, they saved what would’ve been almost nine tons (8 metric tons) of transport emissions from entering the atmosphere.
Now almost a year later, Food Connect has grown exponentially. Most recently, they have partnered with London Mayor Sadiq Khan to expand into the Albrighton Community Centre. Albrighton already serves over 400 residents each week, but Food Connect will extend their capacity to supply 300,000 meals-worth of food annually. In a city with astronomical living costs, this project hopes to provide a buffer from hunger and financial insecurity.
Hubbub’s continuous innovation and clever design has allowed this initiative to thrive alongside the communities that use them, proving that with enough creativity and consciousness, we can create a better world.
In a survey of almost 1,400 Americans, 63% supported the Build Back Better Act, a bill that would invest in higher education, housing, and childcare. Why then, did it fail to pass the Senate?
Likewise, the Green New Deal was supported by nearly all Democrats, a majority of Independents, and over one-third of Republicans, according to Data For Progress, yet it too failed to pass. Again and again, representatives are somehow continuously failing to follow through on what their constituents want and even what they were promised.
To be fair, though, it’s hard to sign a bill when your hands are covered in oil.
In the 2020 election cycle alone, the oil and gas industry filled politicians’ pockets with almost $140 million, 84% going to Republicans and 16% to Democrats. So much money influencing elections makes it difficult for politicians to stand against the interest of fossil fuels, especially when 9/10 elections are won by the candidate who spent the most money.
With public support no longer seeming to matter, lifelong climate activist and comedic actor Jane Fonda wants to buy back America. Announced on March 16, 2022, Fonda has launched the Jane Fonda Climate PAC.
A Political Action Committee (PAC) is an organization that raises and spends money with the sole intention of electing and/or defeating particular candidates. This is done through direct donations to campaigns/ parties as well as “independent expenditures”, of which most are media campaigns.
The Jane Fonda Climate PAC has one goal in mind: do what it takes to defeat fossil fuel supporters and elect climate champions at all levels of government. Fonda expresses in a video announcing the PAC’s formation that the next four election cycles will be the most important in reversing our trajectory for climate change.
This urgency regarding the next four elections references a “point of no return” that climate scientists have stated will occur wherein ice sheets will melt to a point of irreversibility (thus raising sea levels) and whole ecosystems will permanently collapse (e.g. Amazon Rainforest). In order to circumvent this trajectory, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) targeted 2030 by which global greenhouse emissions must be cut in half and 2050 to nearly eliminate them entirely.
However, the United States is far behind on their part, and the fossil fuel industry pays to keep it that way. By creating this PAC, Fonda is trying to beat Big Oil at their own game. If we can buy our politicians back, we have a chance at reforming the country in the way we’ve already said we wanted.
Forgive me for being self-indulgent, but I’d deeply appreciate it if you could sign up or donate to the Rainbow Run 5K, a race I’m coordinating in Lexington, KY on May 21st. If you are not located nearby, there is an option to run virtually as well. All money raised will go to supporting the Lexington Pride Center and the Lexington Pride Festival, which is a free, public event for the city’s LGBTQ+ community and allies. The link to the race website is below:
“Amerikan Dream” is a sobering song by Front Country about the false narrative America perpetuates to maintain a poverty chokehold on its people.