Food for All application – help, save & eat

David Rodriguez,
CEO & Founder
Food for All – help, save & eat

Shaping the future of cities in a sustainable way may not only be about developing new technologies. It is also about identifying meaningful opportunities that help people and the planet transition towards a circular economy. Not the selfish act of taking advantage of a situation regardless of principles, but the ability to identify fruitful opportunities from digging an existing problem. Food waste is a lost of opportunities in several aspects, and the will to reframe it within conscious capitalism is how Food for All was born.

The amount of food that is wasted, from production to retail to household, is around 40% in the United States alone (Gunders, 2012). If the US could reduce the amount of food that is not eaten by 15%, this food eatcould go on to feed 25 million people.

This astonishing amount is by no accident: picky consumerism, faulty marketing, and general confusion about the health and quality of food through its sell-by dates have created a culture in which waste is not only accepted but also seen as necessary. Immerse in this scenario, restaurants that have an excess of food at the end of the day usually throw this food out in the trash. This food is still good and safe to eat, but the costs of transporting this food to non-profits or homeless shelters, along with strict requirements by law and minimum quantities accepted, proves to be too demanding for restaurants to take on. This way, unnecessary waste is produced daily.

For restaurants, food waste means additional costs with waste disposal fees, raw ingredients, and labor. For customers, the price gap between eating home and out is high and it’s growing: 1 in every 7 Americans is food insecure. Moreover, the consequences of food that end up in landfills are also environmental since they release methane - a damaging greenhouse gas that’s proven to be up to 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Driven by the mission of reducing food waste and building social awareness regarding it, we created Food for All: an app that allows restaurants to sell their surplus food at the end of each day, up to 80% cheaper. The idea on its own proved to be a strong and needed one. With a running prototype and an explanatory video, our Cambridge-based startup validated the market and raised the initial fundings through a crowdfunding campaign in November 2016.

Food for all is a convenient and easy way for restaurants to sell and manage their daily surplus food, generating additional revenue and marketing for their business. Users have access to fresh and heavily discounted restaurant food. Once they place an order, they go to the restaurant before its closing time and choose their Meal according to the availability of surplus food. They can also donate Meals to the people in need through the app. It is a simple way for users and restaurants to save food, money, and the environment altogether.

The beta version of the app will be launched on April 5th in the Greater Boston Area and was developed in collaboration with the Sustainable Technologies and Health

program at the Harvard T.H Chan Center for Health and the Global Environment. With the motivation of creating a sustainable solution in every aspect (environmental, social, and economic) to give people access to fresh and nutritious food, Food for All aims to be established in 5 major cities in the US by the end of 2017.

In conclusion, by simply reinterpreting one of the big challenges that our cities face - food waste - and connecting it to possible new audiences and to the right kind of technology, we created a business opportunity made out of conscious food providers and consumers: both key aspects to what we believe can shape the future of our cities in a more sustainable way.

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