Impact // Culture

It’s Our Purpose to Fight Hunger Across the Globe

September 01, 2021

The idea that fresh food – the basic building block of health and wellness – is inaccessible to people around the world is unacceptable. Whether it’s due to location, lack of financial resources, the result of a natural catastrophe or the overall state of the economy, hunger is a constant state for more than 2 billion people. At Lineage, food is our business. And as the world’s largest temperature-controlled logistics company, we see it as our essential duty to get food to the people who need it.

While feeding people everywhere is a responsibility we act on every day, this September we’re highlighting Hunger Action Month as a platform to make an impact on how the public perceives hunger and issues such as food waste and food insecurity.

Despite what some may say, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of overall available food, and it isn’t caused by individual choices. Hunger is a stigmatized situation for those who suffer from it – and this stigma has led to a misunderstanding of how hunger is defined. To understand hunger, we can begin by understanding what circumstances contribute to it.

Food deserts are areas that lack essential fresh food.

Food deserts are usually urban geographic areas where residents have few to no convenient options for securing affordable and healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. Created by distance, pricing and time constraints, these areas primarily offer prepackaged foods that are high in both carbohydrates and fat. Disproportionately found in high-poverty areas, food deserts create everyday hurdles that can make it harder for kids, families and communities to grow healthy and strong.

One of the most unfortunate aspects of food deserts is that there is ample fresh, healthy food on the planet to feed everyone the right way. The challenge of getting fresh food to those who need it most is made even more difficult by food waste throughout the supply chain.

We all lose when food is wasted.

Food waste refers to food that completes the food supply chain and is ready for sale and consumption but ultimately does not get consumed. It is estimated that up to 1 billion tons of food goes to waste each year.  

Not only is this tragic when considered among the issues of world hunger, but nearly 10% of the total global carbon emissions each year is linked to food that just goes to waste. As Lineage is dedicated to not only feeding the world but also reducing energy use within the cold chain, eliminating food waste is one of our most committed goals. It’s why we’re working with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, along with countless other groups around the world, to drive the reduction of food waste in the supply chain.

1 billion tons of food goes to waste each year

Feeding the world is personal for Lineage team members.

Lineage’s dedication to feeding the world has made a tremendous impact on our 19,000+ team members. In 2019, our team members personally donated more than 40,000 pounds of food and volunteered more than 3,800 hours at local food banks. Their efforts culminated in nearly 1 million meals for food-insecure families. Inspiring stories, like Lee Chorlton’s from our Heywood, United Kingdom, facility, are commonplace throughout our organization. Our people share our desire to feed the world.

“There are a number of initiatives going on to build the Lineage culture and to raise awareness of hunger issues through local engagement. For me, the most rewarding aspect of my job is building relationships that ultimately result in being able to feed those in need throughout my community.” Steve Hale, Lineage, Australia, Senior Manager International Talent, Culture & Community Engagement

From food drives, fundraising campaigns, facilitation of customer product donations and in-person volunteer events, our 2021 Hunger Action Month goal is to have Lineage teams complete a combined total of 500 hunger-relief actions supporting our community food banks throughout September. In 2020, through various agencies, 208 Lineage facilities donated more than 100 million meals as part of our Share A Meal campaign. In recognition of Hunger Action Month, Lineage will support our teams across North America, Europe and Asia in their backing of Feeding America, Food Banks Canada and other local food banks or hunger relief agencies in all the regions housing Lineage operations.

Our worldwide network of 370 facilities is exceptionally well-positioned to provide assistance and supply chain expertise to our nearby food bank partners. We have amplified awareness and action around this issue through our partnerships with global sports superstars, such as the NBA’s Stephen Curry and the English Premier League’s Patrice Evra. These relationships have resulted in our customers donating more than 3 million pounds of product in 2020.

208 Lineage facilities donated more than 100 million meals in 2020

Leveraging our expertise to spearhead hunger relief efforts.

At Lineage, we will continue to use our position to help get healthy food to those in need. With over 2.1 billion cubic feet of storage space in 15 countries, we are uniquely positioned to work with local organizations around the world in identifying donation opportunities. Just as important, we are also able to deliver food to the organizations that directly interact with those in need.

To that end, Lineage works tirelessly with organizations around the globe to combat hunger, using our expertise to lend a hand on many levels. From financial planning to continuous improvements within their company, Lineage assists these groups in amplifying their message and in streamlining distribution processes.

Lineage’s desire to end hunger never wavers.

It is this dedication to feeding the world that helps define Lineage’s role in combating hunger. As we all continue the fight to eliminate food deserts, food waste and to ultimately end world hunger, Lineage stands with those who are willing to donate their time and energy. We cannot accept and will not live with the idea that people must go hungry. As an industry leader, we know that we can always do better. So, this Hunger Action Month, and every day, let’s go forth and make a positive impact on the world!