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WSI PIMCO Zero Hunger Challenge, SDG 2WSI

Design a solution to help food banks increase access to healthy, local food by reducing waste, improving mobility, or promoting more sustainable and equitable food systems.

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Hunger is a complex problem and ending hunger will require a variety of actions by many different players, from industry developing more efficient production and delivery systems to governments promoting more equitable economic growth.

But hunger is often not a food problem—as much as it is a supply chain and logistics problem. Sometimes the issue is not how do you produce enough food, but rather how do you prevent food from being wasted or how do you get food to the people who need it most.

Approximately 15-30% of food in emerging economies is wasted: each year, while billions of pounds of food go to waste, 1 in 4 people face food insecurity. Communities in more developed economies also face these dual issues of food waste and food insecurity.

The food bank model is a critical intervention that represents an important part of the solution: local action for global change. Food banking systems attempt to address the problem of hunger by capturing surplus food and delivering it to the people who need it most.

Food banks capture wholesome, surplus food and deliver it to people facing hunger, engaging all sectors of society (governments, business, and civil) in the process. Food banks represent a triple win, protecting the environment by reducing food waste, providing food assistance to food-insecure people, and strengthening civil society through the support of local organizations. The need for food banks was already high before COVID-19 and it has only grown as the pandemic has disrupted local economies.

To address the challenge of hunger, innovative local solutions are needed to help recover healthy, edible food that is being lost in local supply chains. Your challenge from PIMCO and The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is to come up with some of the innovative local solutions that are so desperately needed.

An unimaginable amount of food ends up in landfills and this presents two big opportunities for innovation. Communities need solutions to:

  • Drastically reduce both food loss and food waste overall, ultimately creating a healthier and more sustainable planet
  • Intercept and redirect otherwise healthy, edible food to food banks for distribution to the vulnerable people around the world who need it most

Here are a few thought-starters to help you tackle the Zero Hunger Challenge:

  • Where do you think food is currently being wasted at the local level? How about at other points in the supply chain?
  • What policies exist—or don’t exist—to support food recovery locally? See GFN's Global Food Donation Policy Atlas for some of the answers!
  • What low-cost solutions may exist? Could any of the low-cost solutions currently being employed in some locales be broadly scalable?
  • What support would local food banks or communities need to implement your innovative idea for reducing food waste or distributing recaptured food?

PIMCO

PIMCO is one of the world’s premier fixed income investment managers. With our launch in 1971 in Newport Beach, California, PIMCO introduced investors to a total return approach to fixed income investing. In the 45+ years since, we have continued to bring innovation and expertise to our partnership with clients seeking the best investment solutions. Today we have offices across the globe and 2,150+ professionals united by a single purpose: creating opportunities for investors in every environment. PIMCO is owned by Allianz S.E., a leading global diversified financial services provider.

PIMCO seeks to combat global hunger by supporting UN Sustainable Development Goal 2 and partnering with The Global FoodBanking Network.

Global FoodBanking Network

The Global FoodBanking Network (GFN) is an international non-profit organization that nourishes the world’s hungry through uniting and advancing food banks in 44 countries. GFN focuses on combating hunger and preventing food waste by providing expertise, directing resources, sharing knowledge and developing connections that increase efficiency, ensure food safety and reach more people facing hunger. Last year, 949 GFN member food banks rescued nearly 900 million kilograms of food and grocery product and redirected it to feed 16.9 million people through a network of more than 56,000 social service and community-based organizations. For more information, visit www.foodbanking.org

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"At PIMCO, we believe it is our obligation to effect meaningful social change. Our employees invest time, resources, skills and expertise to innovate, drive impact and create action around the UN Sustainable Development Goals in the communities that we work and live. Our focus on SDG2: Zero Hunger reflects our belief that this is a fundamental issue critical to human development and sustainable global economic growth. This is why, along with our partner the Global FoodBanking Network, we are committed to combating hunger as both a systemic global issue and a local tragedy that prevents families and communities alike from reaching their full potential."

Gavin Power / Executive Vice President and Chief, Sustainable Development and International Affairs, PIMCO

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