Today’s Solutions: April 17, 2024

According to Feeding America, as many as 35 million Americans experienced food insecurity prior to Covid-19. As a result of the pandemic, that number has grown to 42 million in 2021.

Pittsburg nonprofit 412 Food Rescue thinks that the root problem of hunger lies in the distribution of food since as much as 40 percent of perfectly good food ends up in the bin.

With that goal in mind, 412 Food Rescue partnered with Pittsburgh institution Carnegie Mellon University to develop an algorithm for an app that can help solve the distribution problem. The result was Food Rescue Hero: a platform, now licensed to 11 other cities in the US and Canada, that facilitates delivery logistics for getting surplus food to those in need.

As 412 Food Rescue founder Leah Lizarondo tells Fast Company, Food Rescue Hero consists of a “network of thousands of drivers,” who use their own cars to pick up surplus food from grocery stores, or catered supplies from offices, universities, and sports events, and drop them off to a number of social services organizations.

These organizations, in turn, provide food to local residents who may experience food insecurity. The entire workforce participating in this initiative works on a voluntary basis.

As part of the model, volunteers get push notifications to make deliveries nearby, so there is little inconvenience to their daily routines. As such, the food gets dropped off at a range of locations including people’s homes, thus helping the least mobile, who are often the most at risk of hunger. “It can serve the senior who certainly cannot carry a 15-pound box for a mile,” says Lizarando. The platform is currently delivering as much as 1.2 million pounds of food per month in Pittsburgh alone.

Image source: Food Rescue Hero

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Solar-powered solutions for Gaza’s water crisis illuminate a path throu...

In the heart of the Gaza Strip, amid a humanitarian catastrophe exacerbated by violence, war, and blockades, a ray of light shines via the ...

Read More

The science behind birds’ singing in their sleep

In the complex world of avian behavior, researchers have discovered a fascinating phenomenon: birds sing while sleeping. Scientists observed muscular contractions in a bird's ...

Read More

The history of square dancing in America—part I of True American

The Optimist Daily is taking a journey into ideas and symbols that shape the world with our our mini-series True American. Our first episode ...

Read More

AI makes wind farms safer for birds— a win for green energy expansion

For years, concerns over the potential harm wind turbines might cause to birds have been an obstacle to the expansion of wind energy. However, ...

Read More