Re-Plate is a nonprofit tech company that matches surplus high-quality meals with communities in need... instantly!
Since our launch in January 2016, we have recovered over 120,000 pounds of food for charitable organizations throughout the Bay Area with our unique on-demand transportation system. Our novel approach is economically sustainable: we give our meals free to charitable organizations, and earn an average of $0.40 per meal from our donor-clients.
We can easily replicate our system in any city that has a high supply of and demand for surplus food. For many of our clients who sometimes spend almost $1 per meal on cleanup costs, our services provide a solution to their waste problem that is even more economically viable than not participating in food recovery.
The Re-Plate Service is a simple, cost saving solution to our clients’ food waste problem that their employees can feel good about. So not surprisingly, we have seen more than 20% growth each month for seven consecutive months. We also know our method is sustainable, since every single donor of who has ever tried Re-Plate is still with us today.
We are now looking to implement new solutions for the future, which will complement our current model and accelerates our social impact by tapping into the biggest source of food waste. To close the gap between food waste and food insecurity, we have created an online marketplace for individuals and organizations to "Re-Plate" their excess meals based on their need and location.
The Re-Plate Marketplace is a revolutionary web and mobile app that connects individual food donors to individual recipients in real time. A donor can simply post any food on the marketplace and a recipients can claim food based on their need and location, then arrange a time and place to pick it up. The Re-Plate Marketplace will provide everyone with the means to donate their food to whomever they choose, and it will bring awareness to the issues of food waste and food insecurity.
Both of our platforms allow for human-centered experiences that will promote positive social interactions and incentivize more people to take action to prevent food waste and to help feed their community. Food donors will understand the true value of the food that they would otherwise discard and recipients will no longer have to struggle with food insecurity, can nourish their families, and revitalize their communities.
After speaking to our donors over the last few months, we have heard the same comment almost unanimously: "we try to be good about ordering just the right amount of food, but sometimes its hard to predict, and so when we have too much, its nice to know that Re-Plate can get the food to someone who needs it."
This confirmed what our business model already made clear: there is ample demand for the Re-Plate food recovery service.
How about demand and accessibility for the Re-Plate Marketplace?
Over the course of two weeks, we asked the recipients at shelters and kitchens the following questions:
1- How often do you worry about food? (Options: Daily, Several times per week, Weekly)
2- Do you have access to a refrigerator?
3- Do you have access to a smartphone?
4- Do you have access to a computer?
5- Do you have access to internet?
After speaking with 100 individuals, we obtained the following results:
We also asked recipients if they felt comfortable asking others for food. Most recipients said that it depends on the situation (how hungry they were at the time, what type of food, who the donor was). However, almost everyone agreed that it would be easier for them to request food if they could do so remotely and anonymously.
Our goal is to provide our donors and recipients with the most seamless experience for donating and receiving surplus food. We constantly strive to improve our platform by testing, gathering feedback, and collaborating with professionals.
For a video demonstration of the Re-Plate Marketplace, watch the two short clips above. Additional screenshots of our platform are available on request.