March is B Corp Month!
As part of our responsibility as a B Corp,* each year TCG chooses a social cause to support through donations and volunteer work. (Due to the pandemic, we focused on virtual volunteer opportunities over the last year, but we hope to be back in person soon). The company chose to address food insecurity in 2020, and we have renewed our focus on this issue for 2021.
While a serious issue in the best of times, food insecurity has been exacerbated in the last year as businesses closed, unemployment rose, and schools–a vital provider of food to children–were shut down. According to researchers from The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the percentage of food-insecure households in the US rose from 14% to 28%, with communities of color most affected. In October of 2020, an estimated 14 million children were going hungry each day. The problem isn’t going away. Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity in 2021. Individuals who experienced food insecurity before the pandemic have been more impacted since it began a little over a year ago.
We want to highlight the work of several organizations that we’ve been proud to support in 2020 and 2021.
Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB) is one of the anchors of the hunger relief infrastructure in our region, working with over 450 nonprofit partners across the DMV.
Loudoun Hunger Relief distributed more than a million pounds of food to Loudoun families in need since the pandemic began. Food insecurity isn’t a new problem in Loudoun County. The continuing economic fallout from the pandemic has swollen the number of food insecure residents from 3.8 to 6.8 percent.
Arlington Food Assistance Center (AFAC) is “dedicated to its simple but critical mission of obtaining and distributing groceries, directly and free of charge, to people living in Arlington, VA, who cannot afford to purchase enough food to meet their basic needs.” Since the start of the pandemic, AFAC has seen a 45% increase in family referrals.
Food for Others, a non-profit based in Fairfax, has been distributing food to an average of 4,000 families weekly, double the number of families it served pre-pandemic. Fairfax County received 5,980 requests for emergency food from Mar. 1 to Dec. 21 of 2020, a 56% increase from the same timeframe in 2019.
Dreaming Out Loud (DOL) started in 2008 to respond to educational and socioeconomic disparities facing communities in Washington, DC. Before the pandemic, DOL operated an urban farm, farmer’s market, and Black Farm CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). In response to COVID-19, they coordinate food recovery from large companies, such as Whole Foods, whose products would otherwise go to waste. They distribute over 2,000 CSA shares each week through DC Greens, a D.C. health program that provides produce for low-income residents.
As part of our B Corp responsibilities, TCG donates 1 percent of company profits to support our annual cause. In addition, TCG will donate $1 for every $2 that TCGers make to qualified nonprofits that support food-insecure families.
*Certified B Corps are Benefit Corporations, or “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” B Corps aim to use business as a force for good, making a positive impact on the lives of employees, our communities, and the environment. You can learn more about certified B Corps at B Lab.