When I work with a food company, it’s important they have a commitment to health – no added sugar or chemicals. Ideally, they’d have a commitment to sustainability as well. That’s why I’ve been working with RIND Snacks. They make a dried fruit snack with no added sugar or preservatives. And, as the name says, they keep the rind on. That reduces tons of food waste that would have gone into landfills. It also provides more nutrients.
RIND recently entered the Baltimore/Washington market in a big way in the last few months. They’re now in Whole Foods, Wegmans, and The Fresh Market and brought me on to help them here. Just as that happened Covid-19 hit and shut down the schools. Right on the heels of that was the massive protests emanating from the George Floyd murder.
This is a very challenging time for our cities, and especially Baltimore. The lockdown, horrible economic situation, and now people are on edge as people take to the streets to make their voices heard.
RIND Snacks came to me asking how they could help our community. Life is hard enough for children, they shouldn’t have to worry about whether they’ll have food to eat. Not in 2020 in America. RIND wanted to help with food insecurities. They wanted to be part of the solution.
I’ve known about the Baltimore Hunger Project through Lynne Kahn for a number of years. I’ve watched that organization grow and provide incredible resources for Baltimore children: providing necessary weekend food in a compassionate and dignified manner. Our school system provides meals to children during the week. Sadly, many children go hungry on the weekends. This is where Baltimore Hunger Project comes in. They quickly, efficiently, and effectively gets food to those who need it. No red tape, no bureaucracy, just action. We delivered the RIND Snacks on Tuesday and the students received them Friday. It’s done mostly with volunteers.
I didn’t hesitate to recommend Baltimore Hunger Project to the Co-Founders Matt Weiss and Ben Cohn. It was a perfect fit. RIND Snacks’ shelf-stable pouches allow kids to have a healthy fruit without it going bad, helping with another food insecurity: access to healthy food. Many low-income children get cheap, empty calories. I was excited that Matt and Ben were able to get the kids real, high nutrient food in their hands this week.
We have so many challenges facing American school children – Covid-19, distance learning, the economy, and difficult conversations around race. It’s a wonder they can learn. I like organizations stepping up to solve our problems. It’s wonderful that the government is providing meals for these students Monday through Friday. And, Capitalism practiced correctly, can be a huge force for good. That’s who produces the food. Where there are gaps that the market cannot provide, I love it when leaders like Lynne help with non-profits for the last mile which often is the hardest.
It’s heartening to see the government, non-profits, and businesses working in tandem to help our students. This is how America should be functioning in 2020.
Kudos to the teams at RIND and Baltimore Hunger Project for making this happen so quickly.
Andrew Buerger is a veteran of the natural food business. He was formerly the Founder of B’more Organic.