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Young Alumni Link Up, Support Food Banks with FarmLink

Read Time: 4 min.

A batch of young Loyola High alumni from the Class of 2017 have been working overtime during the COVID-19 crisis to help connect farms with surplus produce to understocked, local food banks—all through their new non-profit organization, FarmLink.

Aidan Reilly ’17, a student at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, was home from college early due to the pandemic and was searching for ways to contribute positively to communities in need. Seeing the impact of food shortages, layoffs and business closures across the country, Reilly co-founded FarmLink back in April and has since seen the project take off.

He is now joined by nearly 20 other university students, including four other Loyola High School classmates: Cooper Adams ’17 (Georgetown), Max Goldman ’17 (Brown University), Emmet Reilly ’17 (Cornell University) and Mason O’Hanlon ’17 (Babson College). In addition, Owen Reilly ’22, a current sophomore at Loyola, has been assisting his older brothers with the project.

“FarmLink is a grassroots movement supporting farms and food banks during this crisis of food instability. While food banks are facing an unprecedented increase in demand, millions of pounds of produce are being dumped or wasted as commercial farms around the country struggle to adapt to decreased and cancelled orders. Our project handles all the logistics to connect such farms with food banks. 100% of donations towards FarmLink are used to pay the wages of farm workers and truckers, thereby keeping employees staffed, fresh produce away from dumps, and food on the tables of those who need it most.” | More about Farmlink

Over the last few months, our Cubs in the FarmLink crew have been working hard to ensure that valuable produce isn’t going to waste during the pandemic. Cold calls to hundreds of farms in the United States that have a surplus of food have resulted in the diversion of nearly “50,000 onions that were about to be destroyed on a farm in Oregon,” for example. That food was transported here to Los Angeles and then distributed to local food banks. They also purchased 10,000 eggs from a California farm, rented a truck and drove them to a large food bank. FarmLink’s efforts to feed those in need and uplift urban communities has resulted in significant growth in both support and donations, and they have neared the one million mark of pounds of produce sourced to food banks.

In addition to being highlighted on ABC World News Tonight with David Muir, FarmLink has also been featured in stories by the New York Times and CNBC. Click the links to read their stories and watch their videos.

We are so proud of the work done by our young alumni who continue to live the “Men for and with Others” mantra. Keep up the great work, Cubs! If you would like to support, learn more or reach out to our Cubs with FarmLink, please email them at: contact@thefarmlinkproject.org.

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