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To say the very least, 2020 has been a uniquely challenging year for all of us. But as the pandemic drags on, people across America are working together with compassion to solve urgent problems in our food system.

Community-based and -supported agriculture has been soaring since the Covid-19 pandemic began, and it's a more-than-welcome silver lining. Our friends at Civil Eats have collected fully 20 stories about these inspiring changes: from the farmers in Puerto Rico who are working for climate resilience and social justice to the Navajo women who are exploring ways to increase food access, together they describe a food system struggling to change for the better.

To learn more, you can read ...

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Celebrity trappings aside, Chef José Andrés considers himself, above all else, to be a cook. So after a tragic earthquake devastated Haiti, Andrés did what a cook would do: he came up with a plan, and got to work feeding the people displaced by the disaster.

That was back in 2010. Today, in the face of Covid-19, World Central Kitchen has pivoted to safely feeding people in a pandemic. And in a brilliant move intended to support restaurants by helping them to feed the hungry, they've created Restaurants For The People.

Andrés' program has hired workers in Covid-19 hotspots from NYC to the San Francisco Bay area, and identified communities that need food the most. The...

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After returning to work following the birth of her second child, Michele Liddle felt unfulfilled, and her work schedule was punishing. Liddle traveled sometimes three weeks a month, and still nursing, she was pumping breast milk to ship it home. Somehow, working while her kids slept, she managed to put together her dream company: The Perfect Granola. But Liddle's product wasn't the point: hunger was.

“We’ve never been about the granola," says Liddle. "We’re mission-first. The granola was something to sell to fuel my other ideas on how to fix hunger.”

And Liddle will evidently stop at nothing to fulfill that mission. She is part of the New York Farm-to-School Program, an...

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As a volunteer working with the Peace Corps in Rwanda, Markey Culver typically ate just one meal per day, common practice among Rwandan families. One day, Culver did something that seemed simple at the time--but it would change her life, and the lives of scores of East Africans.

To increase the calories she was taking in, Culver baked a loaf of yeast bread.

When her baking caught the interest of local women, Culver began to teach those in her community to bake bread for themselves. And when the women began giving the bread to their children, she began to realize the potential of her work to impact malnutrition. Culver was inspired, and when the women began to sell the bread at local markets, s...

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When Vandana Shiva was growing up in the wilds of the Himalaya, her father was a forest conservator, her mother a farmer. Her close relationship with nature was set early on, and her involvement with Chipko, a nonviolent org that emerged in response to large-scale deforestation in the region, soon put Shiva on the path to a career in ecology.

Today, at 66, Shiva has founded a biodiversity farm, Navdanya, as well as Earth University, a learning center that teaches students principles of biodiversity and what Shiva calls "Earth Democracy." Her commitment to farmers' rights and poison-free farming has earned Shiva a slew of awards and accolades, and she has been called an environmental hero by n...

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Ethiopia has made a lot of encouraging progress in recent years, but despite two decades of economic growth, its economy is still struggling. The nation has one of the world's lowest GDPs per capita, and many Ethiopians still rely on subsistence farming. 29-year old tech entrepreneur Selam Wondim is up to the challenges facing her home country, however. And recent changes on Ethiopia's political horizon, including the election of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, have her feeling optimistic.

These days, young Ethiopians are looking more and more to technology–and it's not in search of the latest food delivery app. Where much of new technology in the West is convenience-driven, in Ethiopia peop...

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In the developing world, one of the most common problems is the expansion of food production to feed growing populations. Historically, the answer in many places has been to replace forests with agriculture. Currently, the practice is responsible for over seventy-five percent of global deforestation, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization.

But there are alternatives. A small West African nation of just over two million people, The Gambia is managing to both produce more food and grow more forests. And in the process, they are providing a valuable example for other developing countries around the world.

How are they doing it? Since 1990, the Gambian government has been ...

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In a very welcome development, an influx of new venture capital is being directed to companies dedicated to the elimination of food waste. According to a recent report by ReFED, more than $125 million has been invested in the category so far in 2018.

Food waste and food access have long been a focus here at Billions Rising–and with an estimated $218 billion of food going to waste each year, that's hardly a surprise. The problem of food waste in particular has now become a hot topic among VC firms, including such major players as S2G Ventures. As pointed out by Chuck Templeton, S2G's Managing Director,"Food waste is a huge problem hidden in plain sight,” and it offers huge potentia...

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Catherine Garcia Flowers came to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a violent storm in which she and her parents both lost their homes. She soon met Pastor Rudy Rasmus, who saw her vast energy and potential as she quickly went to work feeding Houston's hungry and less fortunate.

After Rasmus founded Bread of Life, a nonprofit serving Houston's homeless, they stayed in touch. And when Flowers was considering a move to Honduras years later, he talked her out of it. His reason: Rasmus needed her to take the reins of his growing organization. She agreed–and within just weeks, Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Her decision was seemingly meant to be, as Flowers was perfectly position...

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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

Ask Shanay Thompson. After a successful stint in the modeling industry, motivated to help others, Thompson decided to become a doctor. When she got into Stanford University, she began mentoring at-risk teens, getting a taste for volunteerism. She then launched Every Kid Fed, a nonprofit which operates year-round pantries in schools in Oakland, California.

Today Thompson's group is feeding hundreds of students who would otherwise go hungry–and she's not finished. To hear the rest of her galvanizing tale, read the Forbes st...

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