Challenges

Trucks and workers in a field

Many complex factors challenge a sustainable food system:

  • More than 19 million people in America live more than a mile from the nearest grocery store in urban areas and more than 10 miles in rural areas.  

  • Globally, a third of all food — more than $940 billion worth — is lost or wasted between the farm and plate.

  • Around the world, farmers have among the highest rates of suicide and depression, and 89% of retiring farmers don’t have succession plans to keep their farms in the family.

  • Between 1920 and 2007, black farmers lost 80 percent of their land because of complex social factors. 

  • A  century ago, an estimated 14% of farmers were black. By 2012, that percentage dropped to 1.58%. Children from food-insecure homes are more likely to have lower math scores and repeat a grade. A lack of consistent, nutritious food can also impair their language, motor skills and behavioral development.