At the age of 12, California teenager Kiran Sridhar created a program called Waste No Food, a nonprofit that connects restaurants with hungry residents through a web platform. The program has proved to be a success for the thousands of food insecure families in Silicon Valley (yes, there are some, even in prosperous Silicon Valley), and Sridhar, now 14, has just announced plans to expand the organization into San Francisco.
“Restaurants, they sometimes have a banquet and overcook. Grocery stores have food that’s expired,” said Sridhar. “And farms don’t want to pay for the cost of harvesting food that they don’t know that they can sell, so they literally leave it lying on the farms.”
About one-third of food in California goes to waste, and it was through relationships between local restaurants, farms, and Waste No Food that Sridhar managed to feed 4,000 people.
Food donors can create a profile outlining the type of food they have and when it can be picked up, and charities can create a profile specifying the type of food they need. Charities can also rate donors on food quality and effectiveness.
It sounds like a great way to bring communities together while satisfying two opposing needs, all while feeding the hungry and benefiting the environment as well. As many of us know, it’s largely food distribution – not a lack of food in general – that is responsible for so much of the world’s hunger. This program is a great way to feed more people with the resources we already have; one crucial step in cutting down on hunger.
Image CC licensed by jbloom