Business & Investment

Can the post office fill the food insecurity gap?

For the past three months or so, the United States Postal Service has been brought to forest huts with too late or delayed delivery of mail and parcels. Since delivery reliability is paramount, it may seem fancy for the post office to come up with the idea of ​​picking up fresh, service-sensitive produce on national farms and delivering it to homes.

However, it is being proposed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Market Institute through a drawing board initiative called the Farmers Post.

This initiative, described by Julia Kurnik, director of WWF’s innovation startup, as being in the “starter of conversation” phase, is theoretically designed to achieve three goals: To provide consumers with safe and convenient access to nutritious foods without resorting to a new era of electronic grocery services that are too costly and unavailable to many.According to, it provides postal services with easy-to-scale programs WWF report published last monthCan generate as much as $ 6 billion in annual revenue if it penetrates 10% of the US population.

As envisioned, the service bridges the “gap between excess farmers seeking additional markets and consumers who may not be able to reach other delivery services,” according to a WWF report. Probably. According to the report, this service will take the form of standardized offerings from farmers with specially designed produce boxes. Farmers work with third parties to manage customer interactions, and the post office lends the brand to raise awareness, the report said.

If the pilot is at green, the program builds on the existing postal network and pricing format and can be scaled appropriately in a few months, Carnick said.

There is no shortage of relief programs in the United States aimed at alleviating hunger. Meal kit,

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the demand for community-supported agriculture subscriptions (CSAs) and surplus produce recovery services such as Hungry Harvest and Imperfect Produce has skyrocketed. However, these programs require households to receive food in a central location or use expensive distribution centers to store food. As expected, Farmers Post will avoid the need for pickups and intermediate storage, Carnick said.

According to Kurnik, the idea came last spring when WWF, along with everyone else, saw a scene that hurt the intestines of a home lined up for miles to accept a free grocery box. It has taken root. They were suddenly closed and they had no way of relocating their supply before it was ruined.

The post office has helped WWF provide background information to help develop the analysis, Carnick said. However, she said the agency is not currently involved in the project. A post office spokesman said he was unaware of the initiative.

WWF also met a few farmers who seemed to embrace this concept, Carnick said. “Now we are trying to understand what is possible,” she said.

Like most produce, goods shipped through the Farmers Post Program have a limited shelf life and require long dialogues to enable the post office delivery network to carry out its mission. You may need a new box configuration. In addition, discussions need to be held to determine who will pay for the service. At this point, WWF is leaning towards the end consumer who is responsible, Kurniik said in a recent interview.

The program must also comply with postal regulations governing the collection and delivery of groceries. The post office prohibits the mailing of fresh fruits and vegetables unless the product is presented in a dry but undried condition, according to the agency’s rulebook. Other fresh foods that are easily disassembled or that do not reach their destination without spoilage are also banned, the Japan Post said. According to the guidelines of the authorities, the packaging must be “strong and tightly sealed,” it said.

As with many daily habits, grocery shopping and consumption has been overturned by a pandemic. Prior to COVID-19, electronic grocery delivery services had a 3% to 4% share of the total US grocery market, according to a WWF report released last month. These levels soared during the pandemic as locked-down consumers increased their online ordering activity. E-commerce plays a more important role in grocery shopping as consumers understand the ease and convenience of the process.

Prior to the pandemic, there were 35.2 million Americans, nearly one-third of whom were children, and the federal government could not provide enough nutritious food for each to lead an active and healthy life. I lived in a household with “food insecurity” defined as. They were at the lowest level in 20 years. Last year’s estimates by nonprofits show that the economic impact of a pandemic could lead to food insecurity in 50 million Americans and one in four children in 2020. Feeding America.

Can the post office fill the food insecurity gap? Can the post office fill the food insecurity gap?

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