OUTFRONT Adds New Partners in Our Commitment to Battling Food Insecurity
December 14, 2023
Food insecurity touches 44 million Americans including 1 in 5 children. It has become an actionable corporate and employee driven pillar embedded in OUTFRONT’s purpose of “helping people, places and business grow stronger.” We support this through smart partnerships and employee-driven volunteering. While we are in the midst of the holiday season, I wanted to share some of the programs that are in place.
The Farmlink Project, an organization that brings fresh farm produce to food pantries, has been a partner of OUTFRONT for the past three years. Together, we have run campaigns inspiring people on small actions that they can take to aid in the fight against food insecurity and drive sustainable practices when it comes to food waste. In September, during Climate Week New York we used Times Square, one of America’s most public stages, to share how repurposing food waste can also help fight climate change. Impressively, during that same week Farmlink was awarded The Gates Foundation’s 2023 Campaign Award, which celebrates a campaign that has raised awareness or built a community by inspiring action and creating change. The Farmlink Project has a bold mission to put itself out of business; to create a world without food insecurity. This would require streamlining the supply chain to bring America’s food waste down from 30-40% to zero. For now, they are a crucial link between agriculture and food access in America.
This season, OUTFRONT is donating in our clients’ names to The Farmlink Project. The funds will move at least 50,000 pounds of food which equals just over 40,000 meals. Farmlink is proof of the corollary that “kids will change the world.” The Gen Z-run organization includes a network of more than 600 student fellows and 6,000 volunteers and has provided 83 million meals and transferred more than 130 million pounds of nutritious food to communities facing hunger.
We’ve recently partnered with MEANS Database. MEANS (Matching Excess and Needs for Stability) is an online platform that connects those with excess food (think grocery stores, restaurants/caterers, co-ops) with nearby emergency food providers. We teamed up with MEANS to bring Zero Waste events to OUTFRONT and have extended the partnership more broadly to the out of home advertising industry. In October at the DPAA Global Summit, we donated all extra food from the 900-person conference to New Yorkers in need. Specifically, over 10 pounds of food, plus 100 sliders, were donated to the Dewitt-Clinton Houses tenant association, an organization that directly benefits food insecure New Yorkers in public housing. We are urging the industry to partner with organizations like MEANS for all major events to ensure no OOH conference food is wasted in 2024.
Each holiday season, our employees team up for a month-long volunteering push. We call it OUTGIVING. OUTGIVING is centered on local community volunteerism, donation drives, charity events, and ultimately giving back to those in need. A huge portion of this effort is around food preparation, packaging, and donation. So far this year, the various teams have volunteered with food insecurity fighting organizations for a total of over 400 hours, packed over 1,500 children’s lunches, and donated 185 pounds of food. We are excited to see what the final tally holds at the end of December.
As we have learned from our partnerships with Farmlink and MEANS, Food Insecurity and Sustainability go hand-in-hand. As two core issues that the country (and world) are facing, we are proud of OUTFRONT’s efforts this year to promote positive change.
Author: Liz Rave, Vice President, Marketing @ OUTFRONT
This article was originally posted at Media Village on December 12.
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