In late September, the White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition and Health, the first of its kind in more than half a century, set forth an action plan to end food insecurity and reduce diet-related diseases in America by 2030. Cole Riley, the founder and chief executive officer of New York nonprofit Wellfare, said many of the solutions discussed during the event missed the mark.
A 501(c)(3), Wellfare delivers premium packaged snacks, beverages and pantry staples to local low-income communities through a free subscription box program. The organization partners with dozens of consumer brands, distributors and retailers that provide funding or donate market-ready, liquidated or excess inventory. Partners include Amazon, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Dunkin’ Joy In Childhood Foundation, Nestle and Dole, alongside small specialty brands such as Mmmly, GoodSam and tbh.
“Our focus is still strictly on being an incredible destination for donated food that can make an incredible impact … and building this collective of companies that make better-for-you products and can see the opportunity here to reach a new health-conscious consumer,” Mr. Riley said. “There’s so much focus on the Whole Foods and Erewhon and Sprouts customer, and there really isn’t any focus on the folks living in public housing and food-insecure communities because they are just out of the price range. What we’re trying to do is create and capture that customer and elevate that customer because they want better-for-you products and need it more than anybody in the country.”