HATCH Donates 36 Coolers to Food Pantries In Need During Hunger Action Month
Coolers will enhance cold storage accessibility and combat 500 million pound protein gap nationwide
In recognition of Hunger Action Month, HATCH, a national nonprofit dedicated to creating nutrition through access to animal protein, in partnership with the American Egg Board, is donating 36 cold storage coolers to food pantries in need of improved storage capabilities in 16 states across the nation.
Many food pantries struggle with acquiring adequate cold storage for produce and protein that requires consistent refrigeration in order to stay fresh. Many of the most nutritious and essential food items for families in need, including eggs, meat, cheese and fresh produce, aren’t available due to the lack of infrastructure required to store these items. These cooler donations from HATCH will ensure expanded, consistent, safe availability of these important animal protein products, and therefore access to safely-provided nutritious food options to neighbors in need.
Each double-door cooler holds up to 2,000 pounds of fresh produce and protein. Selected food pantries serve anywhere between 300 to 16,000 individuals on a monthly basis.
“Today, there is a 500 million pound protein gap for neighbors utilizing food pantries in America. Protein is essential to sustaining a healthy and holistic diet, and food insecure families disproportionally lack reliable access to high-quality protein sources like eggs,” says Danny Leckie, Executive Director of HATCH. “This project allows food pantries to increase protein access and address the current gap in protein need vs. accessibility.”
HATCH will deliver coolers to selected food pantries in September to celebrate Feeding America’s annual Hunger Action Month. With more than 150 applicants to this program, it’s clear there is a significant need for cold storage across the nation. Awardees were chosen based on a rubric that took into account the number of neighbors served, size of community served, proximity to a food desert, and the capability to fill the coolers on a regular basis. HATCH hopes to offer future cycles of the Pantry Improvement Project and continue expanding access to cold storage for pantries nationwide.
“Egg farmers care deeply about their communities, and annually they donate tens of millions of eggs to local food banks across the country. Unfortunately, many food pantries lack sufficient resources to store all of those valuable eggs. Shoring up refrigeration capacity with HATCH is an important step toward making sure people in need have access to the high-quality protein and essential nutrients of eggs and other vitally important foods,” said Emily Metz, president and CEO of the American Egg Board.
Receiving pantries are:
To learn more about this program or to reach out for sponsorship opportunities, please visit hatchforhunger.com.