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Coordination is key to transferring existing food waste to hungry mouths.

Interviewed community stakeholders to understand why food is thrown out at the retail level. There's lots of space to improve the system!

Photo of Amanda Ussak
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There is plenty of healthy, unspoiled food that gets thrown away every day by restaurants, cafeterias, and grocery stores.  There are also plenty of community organizations like food pantries and meal delivery charities that need more donated food and have the capacity to intake this surplus.  Unfortunately these two groups are not connected efficiently.  Many community organizations lack the means to collect food and many retailers don't have the time or don't want the hassle of managing the delivery or pick up of this food.  

We talked with restaurant owners in Palo Alto, a Trader Joe's manager, Stanford university's food sustainability manager, and representatives from several food donation organizations.  The common thread was a desire to improve the situation but a breakdown in implementation due to coordination failure, cumbersome processes, and unreliability. 

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How might we efficiently bring these groups together to minimize food waste and maximize people fed?

Tell us about your work experience:

I have experience in the public sector, designing social impact solutions, and a passion for good, healthy food!


Join the conversation:

Photo of Rodrigo Maia

Hello Amanda,
This is a good reference for this issue.

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