Facebook PixelA food sharing app to help reduce food wastage in big cities
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A food sharing app to help reduce food wastage in big cities

Image credit: Photo by ROMAN ODINTSOV

Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice Jan 10, 2022
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An app connecting individuals, institutions, homes, and retail businesses to create a communal pool of excess food that can either be given away or sold at really low prices before it goes to waste.
As most university students and people just starting off on their first job or attachment know, times often get hard and despite your best efforts, you end up running on one or two meals a day. Every year 1.3 billion tonnes of edible food is wasted. A study by UNEP on 54 countries finds cities as the areas with the most wastage.
  1. Goodwill. It stands to reason that no one intentionally wants to waste food. In a similar vein, no one really wants another fellow being to go hungry.
  2. Communal funding. During a period of time, say a month, members who want to participate in the program could set aside the amount of money they choose, with no limits. At the end of a set period of time, the cash could be divided among all the places he ate. The chance to make extra money should be incentive enough when goodwill fails.
  1. Minimize food wastage
  2. Good morale - Knowing you're contributing to a better world is good for your own well being
  3. Creates a positive association with local businesses- Reliance on local business at your lowest creates loyalty to them once you can afford all your meals.
  4. Offers non-profits like orphanages a low-cost food alternative while providing a variety of food experiences to the less fortunate.
How it works
Think rideshare, but food. Say a restaurant made a lot of food for the lunch rush but the customers weren't as many as they thought. There are only so many times you can reheat the same food and you need to start preparing a dinner course. Instead of the food going to waste, Post a notification on the app. Odds are someone nearby could use the food.
Let's say you have a family of four. You make supper but only two people eat, you could put the rest in the fridge only to throw it out a few days later or you could just help someone else who could need it. The latter is clearly the better option.
The same goes for retail shops and supermarkets. Why wait till crates of fresh produce expire to throw away? Just passing it on to someone else saves the food making no difference at all to you.



Creative contributions

Leftover bins on the street

jnikola Jan 10, 2022
I love the incentive and would like to propose a partial solution. Since restaurants are the biggest food waste producers, I would suggest opening a chain of "leftover bins" in front or behind the restaurants.
How would it work
When the restaurant thinks of throwing the food away, they:
  • form several portions from the leftovers, pack them in recycled packaging made by the leftover bin company, put it inside the leftover bin with the label on top, and sell it via any food ordering app with a 50-90% discount (strict health regulations need to be followed to ensure the quality of leftover food).
  • form free meal (or just some fruit, veggies) packages for the passengers and homeless people
  • throw the food away in the organic waste compartment of the bin
Why would the restaurants do it
  • as you mentioned, because they are keen on doing acts of kindness
  • to save money in two ways: 1) sell the leftovers instead of throwing them; 2) pay less for the waste management by paying a small rent fee for the bin (which would take care of the organic waste)
  • to support recycling and green policies (organic waste would be used to produce e.g. fertilizers)
What do you think? Is something like this already out there?
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Pick up service

Elle Anthony Jan 18, 2022
I think this is a really great idea and something I have actually been wondering how to implement myself for quite a while as it seems crazy to me that there can be so many people in need while there is also so much constant waste.
As mentioned, I feel that through engaging in this project, it would boost people's sense of goodwill and self worth which can be a huge incentive.
I'm wondering if there would be a way of collecting food from people if they are struggling to deliver it... I am thinking along the lines of when people have charity sacks put through their door, they are often more likely to fill them and leave them outside purely for convenience. I think the same could apply here if it were a viable option. Perhaps if people were to log their location etc on the app, and maybe a time slot as to when they would like it collected, it would encourage people even more so as it'll take the hassle out of trying to find the time/opportunity to deliver it somewhere themselves.
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General comments

Oguntola Tobi
Oguntola Tobi3 years ago
Great idea! I think restaurants and individuals who give away food should also be able to ask for something in return. So, people can do the odd job here and there in return. That way, everybody wins.
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Contrived _voice
Contrived _voice3 years ago
Oguntola Tobi That's a really good idea, Man-hours for food! Better than sleeping to avoid hunger. Also gives people experience in the service industry while they're at it. Promotes work ethic and builds connections across industries.
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Michaela D
Michaela D3 years ago
Oguntola Tobi I like the idea of giving back and, in general, making the procedure as seamless as possible so that it isn't a bother for the business. For example, grocery stores and restaurants can give away food:
1) a couple of times per week directly to people or
2) by placing food in a communal fridge. That fridge can be locked with a password. People in need can take the food from the fridge as long as they provide some service to the restaurant, like cleaning.
There are already some initiatives for food sharing like freedge. However, they are still very limited and not optimized for restaurant use.
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