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‘Abundance’: The Farmlink Project empowers social impact by cinematically transforming food waste

The Abundance Film will be screened all across the country, coming to Westport Nov. 14. (Photo contributed by Farmlink Project)

Walking into your pantry or fridge, it’s easy to overlook the excess of fresh food that most of us are lucky enough to have at our fingertips. However, for many, this isn’t the case. In fact, we’re living in an intense food crisis where billions of pounds of food are going to waste while simultaneously, there are millions of hungry Americans dealing with extreme food insecurity. It’s a nationwide challenge, complex and daunting, but one that each of us has the power to address. 

The Farmlink Project, a local organization, has become a beacon of hope. With the help of farmers, partnering organizations and the hardwork and dedication of individuals and families, this organization has successfully delivered 108,000,000 meals to hungry individuals, making a sustainable change to many lives.  

The Farmlink Project is a student-founded non-profit with the mission of making the world’s abundance of food accessible to everyone. The Farmlink Project operates in 44 states to rescue surplus food from going to waste and redirecting it to communities in need of food assistance. Within months, the project scales larger than anyone could have imagined and the students find themselves on the front lines of fighting hunger. 

Abundance; The Farmlink story, is a 23-minute film about youth collective action and the power of dreaming big. The film is designed to drive action and raise awareness. The goals of the Farmlink Project are to educate students to start socially impactful initiatives of their own. They also hope to raise $5.6 million which will allow The Farmlink Project to move 100 million pounds of food next year. 

“We hope this film will inspire students nationwide to start socially impactful initiatives of their own,” Owen Dubeck, creative director of the Farmlink Project and director of Abundance, said. 

The organization is looking to push policy makers to propose legislation that drastically reduces food waste in their states. Abundance world premiered in front of Congress and has been screened at 50 plus film festivals and conferences. It is set to be screened across the country from New York to California, with an appearance in Westport on Nov. 14. The film was shown at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church followed by a panel discussion led by food sustainability groups, Food Rescue, Wakeman Town Farm, Sustainable Westport, and the Westport Farmers market. These panelists discuss the intersection of agriculture, food access, community involvement and waste reduction. The conversation was moderated by Chef Michel Nischan of Wholesome Wave. 

“I can honestly say that this short film is one of the best tools I’ve ever seen for inspiring social action amongst young people,” Service Learning Coordinator Lisa Glick said. 

With billions of pounds of produce going to waste while millions of Americans are going hungry, Farmlink aims to change that. During the largest food crisis in a century, a group of college students stepped up to help those facing hunger, catalyzing a national movement to end hunger in the United States. 

Growing up in Westport, it can be difficult to grasp the severity of our country’s food insecurity problem — we are often able to neglect the obstacles that others face because we’re not exposed to them directly

— Molly Belknap '24

Connecting farmers to food banks and delivering millions of pounds of farm fresh produce that would otherwise be wasted to feed families in need, FoodRescue, a prominent group in Fairfield County with a similar mission, has worked alongside Farmlink many times throughout Westport and the neighboring towns. Many families in Westport have volunteered for either organization helping to deliver food to those in need.

“Organizations such as Food Rescue US and Farmlink offer amazing opportunities for all people to contribute positively to their community. Growing up in Westport, it can be difficult to grasp the severity of our country’s food insecurity problem — we are often able to neglect the obstacles that others face because we’re not exposed to them directly,” Food Rescue volunteer, Molly Belknap ’24 said. “Showing a film like ‘Abundance’ to members of a community… and opening a panel discussion with local experts on the issue is an invaluable way to shed light on the disparities faced by families across the globe.” 

The film has already won the Montauk Film Festival along with official selections in the United Nations Association Film Festival and Port Townsend Film Festival. This event is co-hosted by Food Rescue US – Fairfield County, Westport Farmers’ Market, Wakeman Town Farm, Sustainable Westport, and the Farmlink Project.

After the film is screened, there will be a panel discussion with local food system leaders and experts will be held to discuss the intersection of local agriculture and food security, exploring youth-led solutions to food insecurity and wasted food. 

“Attendees will leave the event with tangible ways in which we can help our local farmers and connect them with those experiencing food insecurity, creating a more equitable and sustainable food system,” National Site Coordinator for Food Rescue, Haley Shulman said. “With The Farmlink Project as an example, this program will especially inspire and empower students and young people to make positive social changes in their own community.”

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About the Contributor
Zoe Alpert '25
Zoe Alpert '25, Staff Writer
Zoe Alpert ’25, Staff Writer, decided to join Inklings because her sister was in it and she always enjoyed reading her articles and hearing about how great of an experience it was. “I’m excited about seeing one of my articles on the website and being able to show my family and friends,” Alpert said. Outside of Inklings, Alpert plays field hockey, something that she has done for a long time, and it brings her both comfort and joy. “[Field hockey is] one of my favorite sports, and I love being on a Staples sport team,” Alpert said.   

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