New initiative evaluates food insecurity across Nashville

FeedBack Nashville is a community-led, two-year program aiming to review the city’s current food landscape and identify strategies to eliminate food insecurity at a local level.

A man stands at a podium speaking to a crowd via a microphone.

C.J. Sentell, CEO of The Nashville Food Project, addresses the crowd at FeedBack Nashville’s launch event.

Photo by NASHtoday

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$444 billion. That’s the approximate dollar amount of wasted food across the US each year, according to Kendra Abkowitz, Metro’s chief sustainability and resilience officer. Locally, one in 10 people and one in five Nashville children face food insecurity.

Those are numbers FeedBack Nashville hopes to change. The initiative introduced this week aims to address the city’s food system as a whole — from the field, to your plate, to our landfills — while also evaluating how other systems like healthcare, housing, and transportation are interconnected.

You might be asking, “How does this effort differ from some of Nashville’s other programs working to alleviate hunger locally?”

The programs that might come to mind — The Nashville Food Project, The Store, Patchwork, and more — are directly supporting the two-year, community-led project comprised of 16 members.

What they’re saying

“What I noticed when I started talking to people who work in the food world was that there was this disconnect between collective and cross sectional impact,” said Mark Eatherly of the Metro Human Relations Commission. "[In other words,] getting together to address issues as a community vs. as organizations and individually.”

The steering committee will focus on understanding the root of why hunger and food waste exist in Nashville, and through shared visions of community members just like you, identify opportunities for a better food future. Funding comes from the American Relief Plan Act via Metro’s COVID-19 Oversight Committee.

Help set the table

Like any true community-led effort, FeedBack Nashville wants you to get involved.

Next week, the steering committee will convene to finalize the calendar for late January and early February. Those events will act as the first big kickoff of more to come — think: potlucks, community dinners + conversations.

To stay in the loop, sign up for the newsletter and follow @feebacknashville on Instagram or Facebook.

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