Thursday, September 27, 2012

By The Numbers

The 8th U.S. Cellular World Food Festival "By The Numbers"

Number of planning meetings before the festival: 3
Number of hours spent making the map: 6
Number of food vendors: 39
Number of food plates drawn by children: 100+
Number of banana costumes: 1
Number of bruised thumbs: 2 (low accuracy with a hammer)
Number of days in the East Village: 3
Number of attendees: 75,000 (approximate)
Number of recorded volunteer hours: 150
Number of minutes on the DVD tribute slideshow: 25

And…drum roll, please…

Number of petition signatures: 1,050

We really couldn’t be more impressed with how receptive festival-goers were with Oxfam’s GROW campaign. Check out the pictures below (and more on our Facebook page) for how beautiful our booth looked with all of the plates of food that children were drawing. So many thanks to our volunteers and to everyone who stopped when we said, “Have you heard of Oxfam?”

Children were asked to make plates of food
for a child that didn't have enough to eat.

Volunteers Brittney and Aaron showcase
our Oxfam booth!

Stay tuned for our Des Moines GROW Method Binder, which will be uploaded with next week’s blog post. After that, we start a 3-part series of blog posts leading up to the World Food Prize here in Des Moines and a celebration of World Food Day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sneak Peek...

While your Iowa Oxfam Action Corps has been busy these last two weeks with farmers markets (tabling and outreach) and harvesting at a local community garden, we've also been preparing for this weekend's U.S. Cellular World Food Festival in the Historic East Village of Downtown Des Moines.

We're excited to share the GROW Method with festival-goers and we wanted to give everyone a little "taste" of what's coming to a food festival near you.

Yes, that is a map of the East Village (though objects in camera are larger than they appear) and yes, that is a man wearing a banana costume. Get excited Des Moines! Stay tuned to our Facebook page for details about our exact booth location.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

"Earth's Best Defense" presents on Wasted!

It shouldn't come as a huge surprise. You wander into the kitchen, open the refrigerator door, and there they are: moldy strawberries, wilting lettuce, and an array of weeks-old leftovers that you either forgot about or were too busy to eat. "Oh yeah! I WAS going to eat that..."

Let's face the ugly truth: As Americans, we're quite wasteful. A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (Motto: "The Earth's Best Defense") puts a stunning number on the wastefulness, too...40%. But they don't stop there. Their report examines every stage from Farm to Fork to Landfill and all those steps in between to provide a truly comprehensive look at where the inefficiencies exist in our food system that result in such a mind-blowing number.

The average American household throws 
out 20 pounds of food per person per month!
Now, you might think that mega-farms or corporations are to blame for the majority of the 40%. Yes, they are responsible for a share of it...but it's actually us - the individuals and families making food purchases who contribute the largest share of food waste. Yuk!  In fact, if 15% of the food waste was recovered and put on the table for hungry families, we could feed 25 million people! That makes a huge difference considering here in the U.S., 1 in 6 people are food insecure.

So, it only makes sense that Oxfam's GROW Method is the next logical step in the process. One of the key components is reducing food waste so that we, as individuals, can make a difference. Between the Pinterest page and Facebook app, you can learn (and contribute!) new ways of thinking about your food and how to lower your "foodprint".

For a one-pager version of the NRDC report highlights, click here.

For the complete NRDC 25+ page report "Wasted", click here.