Who am I and why am I writing this blog? To start, my name is Jordan Tisaranni and I am currently a senior at the University of Maryland studying Marketing, International Business, and nonprofit leadership. My goal with my degree is to apply what I have learned in business school to organizations focused on solving societal problems, such as FEAST Virginia! The skills that drive profits in the corporate world are the same that drive efficiency and donations in the nonprofit world, and as such they are needed just the same.
My interest in solving food insecurity began with a research project on food waste, where I learned that the problem was not in the amount of food being produced but in the allocation of these resources. For the first time as a human race we have more than enough to go around, and the amount of food wasted on an annual basis is enough to feed everyone that is hungry 4 times over. This fact alone was enough to inspire me to join the fight in whatever ways I could, and while levels of food insecurity in this country seem to be only rising, the more people that we can educate and involve in this conversation the better. By writing this blog I hope to present relevant information in a digestible way to inspire as many people as possible to find ways to help!
To share more about my experiences with tackling food insecurity, I have recently had the opportunity to witness up close the desperate situations that many are experiencing right now. Every Saturday I help with mutual aid in DC and hear the stories of people that effectively have been left behind by the system. Even in our nation's capital that is home to some of the wealthiest and most powerful individuals in the country, there are pockets of neighborhoods that don’t even have a grocery store. Many that do are still suffering from a lack of fresh produce, and affordable nutritious food that is required to fulfill basic human needs. We call these areas “food deserts” and they unfortunately exist in urban and rural areas alike. Amplifying the stories of the people experiencing these situations is another crucial part of what I aim to do with this platform, as I do believe that the solution is best known to the people experiencing the problem.
For those who are still reading, you may be wondering how I got involved with FEAST VA, and while I am not even from the state of Virginia, my mother’s side of the family is deeply rooted here. I was introduced to my second cousin Bev Sell, the wonderful founder of this organization, over a family FaceTime and realized that we had similar interests. I was so inspired by her dedication to helping those most vulnerable in her community and the solutions that she had implemented by far and offered to help in any way that I could. With my educational pursuits in nonprofit leadership & social innovation, it was determined that I would start writing blog posts for the website to help engage people interested in food insecurity with FEAST VA.