Written by Allison Coppola, CNN
Crumbs Bake Shop is a kind of American delight: a widely beloved bakery with a European flair, with gingerbread truffles, almond cream cups and mouthwatering pie holes. And now there’s a Crumbs with American roots. This summer, the candy company crisscrossed the US with a mobile bus, giving out freshly baked sourdough and apple cider doughnuts at community events around the country. The crumbs themselves were donated to area food banks.
Shawn Becker, CEO of Mo’s, the coffee maker behind the effort, said during the truck’s trip that a non-profit buying the raw ingredients from Mo’s would be able to provide 100,000 more meals for needy people.
But the effort is a relatively small solution to the scope of the need. One in eight Americans are food insecure, according to the most recent census data, and the American public estimates that one in four has experienced food insecurity at one point in their lives.
On Thursday evening, the city of Houston honored the way big name brands are responding to this situation by launching the FOODdonate Awards, a $150,000 pilot program that will award $40,000 for food bank innovation.
By this year, there are estimated to be 700 food banks across the US, with more than a million people receiving food from them each week. For most food banks, even the best-case scenario will require increasing access to fresh produce, especially in urban areas, said Johanna Avery, CEO of the New York Food Bank.
CNN Travel recently visited several food banks in the New York area where fresh produce is scarce.
There are other solutions — like providing kitchens for veterans to learn how to cook — and also some more profound causes that need to be addressed.