Popular vegan burger brand, Impossible Foods, is launching a new food bank program in Northern California aimed at offering high-protein, nutritious foods to communities rife with food insecurity. This program is a working collaboration between Impossible Foods, the Alameda County Community Food Bank, and the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.
“We are still ramping up and enjoy strong demand for our product from chefs and restaurateurs — but at the same time, we know that people in our hometown regions are struggling to afford food that’s delicious and nutritious,” Jessica Appelgren, Vice President of Communication at Impossible Foods explained. “We wanted to launch partnerships very early in our growth curve to address food insecurity and give back to the communities where we live and work.”
Effective this week, the Impossible Burger will be served at meal centers in Alameda, Santa Clara, and San Mateo counties. This is an important undertaking, considering that, according to Feeding America, one in seven Americans get food from food banks. Food insecurity is a big problem in high-cost areas, like the San Francisco Bay Area, where, in Alameda County, for example, a family of four would need to earn around $90,000 just to meet the most basic of expenses. The Alameda County Community Food Bank serves approximately 1 in 5 of county residents through a network of more than 200 food pantries, soup kitchens, and the like.
Wilken Louie, associate director of food resourcing, talked about the importance of protein and how it’s high-protein foods that are often missing from food banks. “High-quality sources of protein are not only the most desired food items by our clients and the agencies serving them – they’re also the least frequently donated, and increasingly some of the most expensive for us to acquire,” Louie adds that the donations from Impossible Foods will help to fill crucial nutritional gaps for many clients.