Sustainability isn’t just about ensuring the future. Reducing waste can serve the needs of others in the here and now. A case in point: the REALTOR® organization’s partnership with the Food Recovery Network. The nonprofit recovers unserved, perishable food from meetings and events for use by local hunger-fighting groups. Since 2019, the National Association of REALTORS® and participating state and local associations have donated nearly 5,000 meals.
One food recovery participant, the Kansas Association of REALTORS®, was able to recover and donate 130 pounds of surplus food from its 2022 legislative conference in February, “equivalent to 108 meals,” says Jennifer Wright, KAR’s director of member engagement.
To amplify the effort, KAR held a companion food drive with Harvesters Community Food Network, a Kansas food bank. “We placed bins throughout the conference, and far exceeded our goals,” Wright says. “Some members teamed up and went on a shopping trip to make a larger donation together. It was competitive and fun.” The food drive brought in 1,055 pounds of food, or 879 meals, she says.
Last year, NAR’s research team shined a light on the link between housing costs and food insecurity. The Affordable Housing and Food Insecurity Report relied on data from the Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey for June 23 to July 5, 2021. In it, 46% of households reported difficulty paying for the usual household expenses over the past 7 days; 8.1 million households said they sometimes or often didn’t have enough food, and 6.6 million said they weren’t current on their mortgage or rent.
“No one should have to choose between putting food on their family’s table and putting a roof over their heads,” says NAR CEO Bob Goldberg. “We’re proud of our ongoing partnership with the Food Recovery Network, which does such wonderful work fighting hunger in America, as we continue to pursue policies that will generate more affordable and accessible housing options in communities everywhere.”
Want to get involved in food recovery? Talk to your brokerage and your association about implementing a plan with FRN. Get more information, including a link to donate, at nar.realtor/frn.