Every day, hundreds of millions of people go hungry around the world. To make this fact even more unsettling, the United States wasted an estimated 33 million tons of food in 2010 alone. If only there was an efficient way to redistribute wasted food to the people who really need it, a dent could be made in those shocking numbers.
Fortunately, a group of forward-thinking students at Arizona State University have come up with an idea on how to connect some of those who have surplus food with those who need food. Students Ramya Baratam, Katelyn Keberle, Loni Amundson, Steven Hernandez, Eric Kehnhardt, and Jake Irvin have created FlashFood, a smartphone app designed to bridge that gap.
The mobile food recovery network helps feed the hungry by allowing restaurants, bakeries, and convention managers to immediately tell a local community organization when they have excess food and would like to donate it. From there, the organization can use the app or website to coordinate with the business and pick up the food, then instantly alert recipients of an upcoming donation.
More from the FlashFood blog:
“One in five children in America goes to bed hungry every night, and FlashFood’s home state of Arizona has the third highest rate of child food insecurity in America. Yet one third of the available food in the U.S. is wasted. Our team believes that we can do better. By connecting local caterers, restaurants, and grocers with food collection agencies and hungry Americans, the FlashFood app will reduce food waste and feed the hungry like never before.”
The project is still in its pilot stages. It has been accepted into an Arizona State University entrepreneurship incubator and hopes to have the program fully operating in Phoenix by 2013. If it catches on, you just might see it spreading to your town, too.