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Food rescue Program from the farm to the mouth in need.

Balancing “imbalanced food market” by linking surplus (supply) and deficit (demand) and provide education to all actors along the food chain

Photo of marco mihambo

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Food loss and wastes (especially Post Harvest Loss) in Africa has remained a persistent challenge. According to the World Resources Institute, approximately 23% of available food in Sub-Saharan Africa is lost or wasted, 40% of the losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels. According to FAO, 2013 such food loss results to undernourishment of 24.8% of Sub-Saharan population. Also, mentioned the major causes which are generally characterized by poor supply management from farm gate up to the final consumers and lack of adequate knowledge. Basing on that, Our team has come out with the idea of initiating a Food rescue Program from the farm to the mouth in need by linking farmers and others who have unsold and unmarketable food to people and charities that need food. The program would form a collaborative Partnership with the community and will use an open participatory workshops for education and training provision along the food chain. Also, ICT infrastructure would be used for tracking schedule of our green rescue team and web-based form for data feeding when they collects and load excess food to refrigerated trucks and transport to collection centers where they are repackaged for being delivered to the vulnerable people. ICT infrastructure would also be used in requesting food to be picked up and having a social media page for open history of food delivery to the needy.


The project will directly benefit all actors along the food supply chain by making sure there is a small needless squander of edible food. This benefit would socially, environmentally, economically impact the community through reduction of the amount of wasted investment and increase the economic well-being, reduction of wasted water, land and unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions from rotted food as well as helping women who interact with food at each stage of the value chain.


My idea would be implemented in Dar es salaam region - Tanzania.


  • Yes


  • I’ve worked in a sector related to my idea for over a year


  • Yes, for more than one year.


I am a leader of a team responsible for realization of this Non-Profit Food Rescue Program that would work to feed marginalized community in Tanzania through a community-led donation program. Also, I have a degree in Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness experienced in working with farmers.


This is a new idea for our team. We are currently providing consultation and lessons about agriculture through our Platform known as Agriculture Initiative in some of the social network (whats app and Telegram) and direct farm teaching for the individuals who really eager to start agribusiness project. After a profound analysis of the team on the problems of food availability (food security), its distribution as well as food wastes and loss in our community, the team came out with Food Rescue Program that links surplus (supply) and deficit (demand). For a variety of reasons in the community, there are a growing number of people who need food assistance because households did not have access to enough food to meet their basic needs and they are helped with our program through food donation. The program will make sure there is least needlessly squander of edible food along the food chain that represent a cost, as they need to be transported and disposed of in landfill. Therefore, linking surplus (supply) and deficit (demand) could counterbalance this “imbalanced” food market and at the same time reduce food loss and waste; this is exactly what our Food Rescue Program would do.


Conceptually, this initiative would offer a unique community-led model that diverts surplus food away from landfill to those who need it. The model will help stakeholders to reduce food loss and wastes; and differentiate it from other initiatives that were available in the community; most of them lack clear, transparent and community-led model as our program do. For example, there was an initiative that used to feed people with Aids /HIV and other feed youth who were Drug addicts. Unfortunately none of them is still operating due to lack of participatory model, trust and transparency to the community who are the major agents of tackling such social problem. The successful of our project would be greatly aggravated by engaging the community through open participatory workshops, establishing local partnership, putting procedures in place to enable volunteers who form part of our Rescue Team to collect surplus food to our collection centers then are repacked ready for being delivered to vulnerable people. Therefore, this model whereby food, time and community space are freely given, would make our project to be unique, affordable and easily replicated to the whole country.


In the context of having a Synergistic Effort, a range of affiliated partners would be engaged including our team in making this idea a reality. Fairly Partnership model with all beneficiaries would be formed including the: Community : For reaching people in need in efficient and ethical way, Food actor’s : For the availability of surplus or unmarketable food, Event-related Partnership: Having collection sites for donation and Partner with Health Officers for proving the recovered food


During beneficiary feedback phase, I formed a task force (team) with five members that interviewed various food actors. We wanted to know their perception on food loss and wastes, how do they manage them as well as its impacts on their livelihood. Every interviewee revealed awareness on food loss and wastes and we found that, most of the traders are not willing to donate their cereal crops even if they are in surplus supply; because they are durable and staple food with assured market. While, those dealing with perishable food showed a great will to donate their food but raised concern on trust, transparency and participation to know if the donated food reach the mentioned people in need. Finally, the team gave more weight on ensuring a common understanding and the sense of ownership to all beneficiaries through a fairly partnership model and open participatory workshop and decided to focus primarily on perishable foods only. Also, suggested introduction of ICT infrastructure for easiness of our operation like online form for requesting food to be picked up, volunteers’ management system as well as a social media page for open history of food delivery to the needy.


The triumphant of our idea would base on legitimacy and the sense of ownership, that the program would have in the community. And this would be inculcated by introducing a unique and integrated community-led model involving “collaborative partnership model” to all stakeholders. Most of our questions are channeled towards forming real, trust and sustainable partnerships with all stakeholders necessarily for program success. How can we build a trust-based relationship with stakeholders? and if it is necessary to develop a written agreement with partners stating what foods will be donated, how food will be handled and stored for safety, and how frequently that food will be transported?


In Tanzania, the Poor food accessibility due to households's lower income, inefficient distribution system due to Poor infrastructures, high post-harvest losses (40% for perishables and 20 % for grains) due to poor post-handling practice has continued to remain the major concerns toward the security of food and nutrition in the country. Also, there are growing numbers of people who face difficulty in accessing food as well as the higher percentage increase of food waste in solid wastes’ composition. Therefore, our idea of counter balancing “imbalanced food market” by linking surplus (supply) and deficit (demand) is the only unique model for solving problem of food security and food loss.


We would like to establish a “Hunger Relief System” in our community that would solve the problems of hunger, malnutrition, and food waste by linking unsold and excess (surplus) food which would otherwise be discarded to people and charities that need food. The system would trickle down the number of vulnerable people to zero after bringing together all stakeholders and finding mutual benefits around working together then we partner in ensuring all hungry families have meals on their table.


  • Less than 6 months


  • Within 50 km of where our team does most of its work


  • We didn't have an operating budget

Globally, food waste happens through the entire supply chain from the farm level up to the consumer level, and roughly one-third of the edible parts of food produced for human consumption, gets lost or is wasted. According to the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), that is about 1.3 billion tonnes per year. Basing on FAO facts on food loss and wastes reported that, in industrialised countries food waste (222 million tonnes) is almost as high as the total net food production in sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes).

Moreover, in sub-Saharan Africa; food loss per capita is estimated at 120-170 kg/year, and about 40% of the losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels.

This food loss and wastes challenge the lives of small scale farmers together with his/her families (wife, husband and children) because high levels of food losses contribute to childhood malnutrition and the chronic issue of vitamin deficiencies among poor households. In addition, small scale farmers often receive low prices for the foods they produce, since marketing intermediaries know that the foods they purchase from growers will lose a lot of volume and value before they can be sold to consumers. Most small farmers use a price taker marketing strategy, whereby they grow a commodity and offer it for sale to a buyer who comes to the farm gate, or if it is possible for them to transport produce to market, to the highest wholesale bidder in the marketplace on the day of harvest. This marketing strategy means that they receive low prices because their produce is often available at the same time as that of other local farmers, leading to gluts of certain types of fresh produce in the marketplace.

Basing on  Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) 2013, Food wastage footprint report, that aired out the causes of this food loss, which are predominantly poor practices in harvesting, careless handling of produce, lack of storage or poor storage conditions and transportation. This loss for farmers means that , they are losing land, labor, water, fertilizer and income. Moreover, the lost food also deprives farmers  the opportunity to grow and strengthen their businesses.

In evidencing those causes of food loss in Africa, We may refer Nigeria and Ghana, whereby Nigeria that is ranked 16th on the global tomato production scale, accounting for 1.2% of the total world production of tomatoes but still has an alarming 45% loss of tomatoes harvested due to Poor Food Supply Chain (FSC) management. Even, Ghana beside of its grain sector being endowed with more reliable modern storage technologies but is still facing a post-harvest losses of up to 50%, and this loss was justified was due to the lack of adequate knowledge( lack of proper training) and implementation of sound grain storage management.

Due to the above justified causes herein, which are  cross-cutting causes across African Continent , I have come out with the idea of initiating a Food rescue Program from the farm to the mouth in need that would link farmers and others ( processing centers, grocery stores, and other food sellers) who have unsold food which would otherwise be discarded,  to people and charities who need food, and build capacity through education and training to all actors along the food chain in the transfer of existing technologies and the spread of good practice  allied to market-led investment as the only cost effective program in reducing food losses and waste across the Food Supply Chain in the developing country like Tanzania.

The ideology of the Food rescue Program from the farm to the mouth in need has borrowed a lot of inputs from City Harvest food rescue organization that had been operating in New York for more than 30 years and has being successful since its inauguration.

Therefore, Our Food rescue program would partner with donors (farmers, processing centers, grocery stores, and other food sellers) and residents, charities that offer service to the people in need to ensure there is a win-win agreement on both sides.

Food rescue and Delivery Mechanism as well as its Education will be as follow:

  1. The food Rescue and Delivery Mechanism

The program would use refrigerated trucks that would run seven days (7) in week to collects excess food from our ‘’established centers” in the region that would otherwise go to waste from all segments of the food supply chain. In Addition to that, we are expecting to own a warehouse equipped with large cooler and freezer to safely hold perishable food until it is loaded onto our trucks and a large dry storage area to stock non-perishable goods.  Then after loading, within 24 hours, the trucks deliver this food to our community agency recipients in Dar es salaam, where it is transformed into hot meals ready for the people in need.

What will make us unique is that we will primarily deal with perishable food – fruits, vegetables, dairy products, frozen foods, bread and meats – we will not purchase food, and we will divert it from needless waste. Apart from that, we will use Local Health Authority to prove the food and crops, if would still be good, healthy and edible, intact in all its nutritious components and therefore good to be consumed without health-related risks.

  2. Provision of Education and Training on Managing Food loss and Wastes along the food supply chain and Information on Nutrition and Healthy.

  • Each year, the program would select only one crop and focus along its value chain by identifying all stakeholders (farmers, processing centers, grocery stores, food traders and marketers) who will be directly provided with information, demonstrations and education in Swahili languages. And we would provide long-term, intensive training for more than 30 people from various stages along the food value chain with the use of Swahili written training manual and fieldwork assignments to make sure our trainees gain practical, hands-on experience.

  • Also, the program would launch a Mobile Phone-based Platform that would help Tanzanian Small Scale farmers to forecast demand of crops across various market by updating them with stock available at respective market and their respectively price, also would provide information on food loss facts, waste facts and reduction tips as part of the education provision as well as information on nutrition and health.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Marco!

The Amplify team and our experts have some feedback for you and your team:

Partnerships appear to be central to this idea – do you have any established already? If so, what is the nature of these partnerships?

How could an initiative like this be sustained financially?

It's great that you've determined a focus around perishable foods - how will you address the issues of trust that vendors brought up? What will you do that is different from other failed initiatives?

May you tell us more about your consultations with the communities that will receive the food? What gives you confidence they will accept it?

Do you envision that an idea like this could eventually become self-sustaining? How?

Looking forward to learning more! 

Photo of marco mihambo

Hello! Amplify team and other experts
I would like to take this opportunity to  thanks your team for  constructive feedback aiming at improving our program.
THEREFORE, FOR  THE NATURE OF OUR PARTNERSHIP ,Currently, we don't have a working partnership model for the program but we have planned to use a “Collaborative Partnership model” and under such model there would be  a mutually beneficial relationship with clear and defined goals and objectives that will be able to solve  problems of hunger, malnutrition, and food waste by combining efforts and resources . Although, maintenance of such Partnership, will require us to ensure all partners not only being kept informed of, but also  have a say in any decision concerning the program. Therefore, we would have an agreed schedule to discuss aspects of the partnership, such as maintenance of a common vision and resolution of any partnership difficulties as well as creating together program structures for fostering a sense of camaraderie and mutual identity.
We are expecting to raise funds first,by using  Tax Incentive approach  through Enhanced Tax Deduction. In Tanzania according to its “Income Tax Act” section 16 (1) (a), it expands tax deductions to any business that contribute during the year of its income to a charitable institution or social development project. Therefore we will use this opportunity to have an agreement with some companies (donors) that would provide portion of their Tax Deductions as a donation and being used to fund some of our operational costs.
SECONDLY, we would use a PAY PAL account for fund-raising through personal requests from our network in the community and also Fundraising through events.
IN ADDITION TO THAT, after developing a long-term relationship with  beneficiaries, we will introduce reasonable charges for those who have already benefited with our program and are requesting additional donations.

Also, we are expecting to agree with some of the food and beverage companies to collect their expires during our operation along the food supply chain and charge them a fees for that service.

MOREOVER, due to visibility and easy attention of our delivering vehicle we are expecting to use that natural opportunity for advertisement and ask companies to pay annual fees for that.
LASTLY, we would offer a membership cards for members including volunteers that will enable them to get discounts at various stores, shops and supermarket hence increase footfalls and loyalty to some of our potential donors' products and assure sustainability of our Partnership with those donors.

Due to lack of clear, transparent and community-led model for previous failed Initiatives whereby such missed model is the driving factor towards building trust, relationship and sense of ownership, therefore for us is the only weapon that  would be used in addressing issue of Trust. Its success  would be aggravated with frequent Open Communication of information pertinent to the agreement and Sites visits to all partners. Also,  a written agreement would be used to build a trust-based relationship and such agreement would state what foods will be donated, how food will be handled and stored, and frequently that food will be transported. The sense of trust, ownership and reliability will strengthen the stability of the agreement, and also will increase chances for upgrading our partnership rather than dissolve in respond to the changing program’s needs and if it happens that there is a great chance of relationship dissolution, the model through its frequent open communication mechanism will make us sooner being aware of this and giving us enough time to make new arrangements and insulating against future uncertainty.
FOR THE CASE OF BENEFICIARIES,they showed a great will of being participated in the program and advised on the necessity of having a meeting with them to determine how much food they will take, what types of food they are looking for, and the best days for them to receive. Others were ready to volunteer and start working with our program. Also, they gave insights on defining and categorizing the communities that will receive food in such that the one with the highest need are served before those with a lower need, and this will help us to mitigate any conflicts of interest (i.e., a food rescue volunteer who also works with a recipient organization). Moreover, they raised factors like big concentration of shelters, meals and low-income housing units to be considered to the locations where we are approaching various donors’ stores. On the other hand, the tremendous increase in the number of people with hunger, malnutrition, as well as the number of food waste in the community whereby our program would offer a comprehensive solutions to such problems, are the ones that assure our program to be accepted easily with the community.

Photo of marco mihambo

Hello! Amplify team
For the case of our program to be   become self-sustaining, our team will conduct a thorough research in the field for getting right information that would guide us in selecting the appropriate compatible program partner. Also, sustainability would be aggravated by forming collaborations with allies toward establishment of the needed Hunger Relief System in a mutual benefit way. Conversely, selecting the wrong partner can result in a lost opportunity after considerable time, effort, and funds that have been expended in support of a collaboration that is not working, also minimize the ability for the program to work again. But, the right partner helps create not only one successful project, but also avenues for continued collaboration and success with this and other program. For the success of such partnership and making our program being sustainable, we should make sure that the collaboration is clearly defined and tied up to program’s goals and objectives and ensure each partner’s purpose is understood by building a relationships based on trust and open communication.
Also, the financial sustainability through our innovative approach in raising funds from enhanced tax deductions, advertisement through billboards in our delivering vehicle, coordinating fundraising events, personal request for donation and also through charges in removing expires in the market would enable us to get funds that will be used to service some of our operational costs and hence contribute in making our program being sustainable.

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Marco,

Thank you for your detailed responses! It's an interesting idea to use tax credits as a revenue source for an idea like this! Because the timeline of Amplify is so short (18 months of support), we are looking for ideas submitted by established partnerships or organizations. That said, it sounds like this idea responds to a real need in your community, so hopefully you will be able to find the right types of partnerships to support it. Good luck! 

Photo of marco mihambo

Hi Chioma Ume,
Thanks a lot   for your encouraging feedback..Be blessed
Best regards,
Marco Mihambo

Photo of marco mihambo

Hello Chioma Ume!
I have a concern, after introducing the idea to donors and beneficiaries they agreed to be part and parcel with it and we stepped further by developing a memorandum of understanding that has been already  signed....Therefore I am requesting if it is possible continue with the challenge while i am completing our agreement with stakeholders  by specifying the nature of our partnership in a written document that I would upload to the platform soon before the deadline of this refining stage

Best regards,
Marco Mihambo

Photo of Chioma Ume

Hi Marco,

We are less looking for a formal relationship as we are a working relationship that has lasted over time. That's because there's a lot of things that need to be worked out at the beginning of a partnership that will take time to establish. With only 18 months, it would be difficult to start at the very beginning. I hope that helps answer your question! 

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