412 Food Rescue
Image courtesy of 412 Food Rescue.

“Since 2015, 412 Food Rescue has been redirecting excess food to hungry people,” writes Fast Company. “Its work has been powered by volunteers, who deliver food from restaurants and grocery stores to various charities and NGOs that serve people facing food insecurity, operating on the principle that everyone has a right to healthy food.

“But coordinating between restaurants with surplus food and organizations that need it can be logistically complicated, so the organization turned to technology, building Food Rescue Hero, the winner of the apps category in Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards. It’s the app that facilitates the process of connecting food to the people who need it. It’s become like an Uber or DoorDash for surplus food, but with the driving and deliveries purely powered by volunteers.”

The Food Rescue Hero app connects those who have excess food — like restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias — with those who need it, like pantries and shelters.

With more than 10,000 downloads of its app, the organization is now using its own excess capacity to provide even more services, offering free rides to people in transit deserts to get to medical appointments, job interviews, or even to vote.

412 Food Rescue’s goal is to be in 100 cities by 2030 (currently, it’s in Vancouver, Cleveland, Manassas, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Los Angeles).

Read the full story here.

Michael Machosky is a writer and journalist with 18 years of experience writing about everything from development news, food and film to art, travel, books and music. He lives in Greenfield with his wife, Shaunna, and 10-year old son.