Zero Waste: Addressing Food Insecurity and Sustainability Together

The city of San Francisco generates about half a million tons of material in landfill each year, a number that has grown significantly over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic. At GLIDE, the waste didn’t go unnoticed. Members of GLIDE’s Family Resource Center (FRC) and Daily Free Meals Program observed how much plastic was being used to supply food to the community. “Everything was wrapped in plastic, including vegetables,” says Joselyn Barrera, Daily Meals Program Manager. “We wanted to take a different approach to address food insecurity and sustainability at the same time.” That’s why, this past summer, the two programs formed a partnership to introduce a Zero Waste Food Pantry, providing nourishing food in reusable and compostable containers.