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New App Rescues Wasted Food To Fight Hunger

A City Harvest volunteer in New York rescues vegetables from garbage bins.

2015 delivered a truckload of news about food waste around the world, from France's ban on supermarket cast-offs to US-government pledges to cut it in half by 2030.

There's even a sweeping anti-food waste bill wending its way through the US House of Representatives.

And earlier this fall, a couple of entrepreneurs developed a way to rescue food from landfills and put it in the hands of hungry people across 27 states.

The Matching Excess And Need for Stability database – known as MEANS – aims to connect commercial donors to food pantries by boosting communication.

American University sophomore Maria Rose Belding launched the project with co-founder and tech partner Grant Nelson after seeing thousands of boxes of donated macaroni and cheese go to waste at a food pantry where she volunteered.

The two won a year of financial backing from the 2015 George Washington University New Venture Competition, and developed an app that now links more than 2,000 programs. It allows even a small amount of excess food from one pantry to quickly find a home where it's needed.

MEANS now employs 11 paid staff and 10 volunteers, and the database has saved an estimated two tons of food from going to landfills.

Belding also won a $10,000 prize from L'Oreal Paris through its Women Of Worth campaign and plaudits from Arianna Huffington for her work.

Read More:

  • The Revolutionary Technology Helping To Fight Food Waste (Washington Post)
  • This College Student Created An App That Has Already Saved Thousands Of Pounds Of Food Waste (Quartz)

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