The Redwood City-based company with a manufacturing plant in Oakland has partnered with two major food bank organizations — Alameda County Community Food Bank and Second Harvest, which serves San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. The notorious high-cost of living and upsurge of homeless individuals and families (many of whom have jobs but simply cannot afford the astronomical rent prices in the area) in the greater San Francisco Bay Area is credited to contributing to the 1 in 5 individuals in Alameda County (compared to the national average of 1 in 7 people) who rely on food banks to survive.
Although Impossible Foods carries somewhat of an elevated status being lauded by high-end chefs and garnering investments from some of the world’s wealthiest like Bill Gates, the brand wanted to ensure that their products reach communities where poverty and food deserts are commonplace.
Jessica Appelgren, Vice President of Communication at Impossible Foods explained, “We are still ramping up and enjoy strong demand for our product from chefs and restaurateurs — but at the same time, we know that people in our hometown regions are struggling to afford food that’s delicious and nutritious … We wanted to launch partnerships very early in our growth curve to address food insecurity and give back to the communities where we live and work.”
Alameda County Community Food Bank operates through a system of 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, and direct-distribution programs like “Children’s Backpack.” This year they will give out 28 million meals, which means Impossible Foods will be providing valuable sustenance to a massive number of individuals who might not otherwise have access to their nutritious protein-packed products.
Wilken Louie, associate director of food resourcing at the Food Bank stated, “High-quality sources of protein are not only the most desired food items by our clients and the agencies serving them – they’re also the least frequently donated, and increasingly some of the most expensive for us to acquire … The food bank depends on partnerships with local food businesses to meet the needs of our community. On behalf of the agencies we work with as well, we’re extremely grateful to be receiving regular donations from Impossible Foods to help fill this critical nutrition gap for many of our clients.”
Second Harvest is one of the largest food banks in the country and feeds more than a quarter million people every month. They focus on providing healthy foods and share more fresh produce than most any other food bank in the U.S.
Barbara Gehlen, director of food sourcing and inventory at Second Harvest, said, “We have known for a long time that nutritious food — fruits, vegetables, whole grains and proteins — is the foundation for a healthy, productive life … Without it, kids can’t learn at school and adults struggle to focus at work, making it harder to get ahead.”
A huge note of appreciation to Impossible Foods for breaking down barriers in the food system and providing healthy alternatives to needy communities who often suffer for lack of nutritious options!
Remember to share this awesome news with your network as a reminder that the future of food is indeed plant-based!
To learn about the environmental impact of our food choices as well as trends and developments in the plant-based food space, check out our podcast #EatForThePlanet with Nil Zacharias.
Image Source: Impossible Foods/Facebook