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FeedTruck - Transforming waste into meals with Mobile FoodTruck

We use a foodtruck both to collect ingredients that would be wasted in food fairs and markets, prepare and serve 1k snacks daily.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
30 22

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Free distribution of 1,000 meals (snacks actually) produced only using food that would otherwise be discarded at food fairs and markets in the city of São Paulo. 

We use a foodtruck both to collect donations of ingredients, prepare and serve snacks to passersby and people in need. So, we decided to baptize our action as FEEDTRUCK. All the chefs invited and staff are volunteers.

We choose popular crowdfunding to start this idea at www.juntos.com.vc/feedtruck ! Now, we are looking for funding, regular partners and/or companies interested in being our sponsors.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We scheduled for August 27, 2016. Our action took place at a time of great attention of national and international media, immediately after the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 and will be one of the main initiatives in the VIRADA SUSTENTÁVEL agenda. "Virada Sustentável of São Paulo 2016" is an event held annually over 4 consecutive days with great prestige and attracts huge audience ! Many projects happen in numerous important sights of the city, it is something like a "4-days Sustainability Marathon!

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

Enable a change of attitude and promote responsible consumption of food in order to reduce food waste and fight child hunger. Thus, we need great advices how to minimize logistic costs and envolve interested partners!

A great suggestion came from IDEO community, during refinament fase, which is partner with a gastronomic social school to include unpriviledied cooking students as volunteer assistant chefs soo day can practice their learnings and have the opportunity to work with renowed chefs.

Tell us about your work experience:

Master´s degree in Sustainability(Federal University of São Carlos)and Specialization in Business/Management.Extensive experience in 3º sector projects towards food waste reduction.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s launched and we’re working on gathering more feedback – it’s existed for over 6 months

How would you describe this idea to your grandmother?

It´s a truck that takes "ugly" food and turn into delicious meals for people in vulnerable situations.

[Only for launched ideas] How does your idea differ from what you're already doing?

Because its a clever local logistics ideia that can help quickly hungry people living in the streets, shelters, asylums, orphanages, transition houses, at the present moment.

This initiative is different from my other 4 years project called Satisfeito (www.facebook.com/satisfeito and www.satisfeito.com) which aims to reduce food waste continuously in partner restaurants and all kind of refectories using communication materials to engaje people on practicing conscious consumption.

How is your idea unique to the space?

The food truck mobility and structure is perfect to reduce costs and optimize logistics. With only 1 truck it is possible to easy collect edible food from markets and/or distribution centers, triage, sanitize, prepare and distribute meals within a small/medium/large urban area.

Who needs to play a role in your idea in order to make it successful?

We depend on loyal partners to provide the resources and volunteers to reduce the operational costs to zero.
Currently we depend:
- Food from partner markets (we have several)
- Borrowed vehicle from a Food Truck Company
- Volunteers from Satisfeito Team and partner NGOs

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

Using the number of peolple feed and the amount of food saved.

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

- Establish lasting zero financial costs partnerships with those suppliers. (Specilly with food provider)
- Find partners willing to sponsor the project to turn FEEDTRUCK into a regular project. (Specially with monthly fee to rent the vehicle or seed money to buy a personalized truck).

Our goal for 2017 is to do it montly and then weekly in 2018.

30 comments

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Photo of Carolina Mndz
Team

This is amazing idea that can serve as a business model for other developing countries with the same initiative.
I would love to hear some updates on this project.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Hi Carolina. How are you ?
Since this is only one among other Stop Hunger Brazil projects, we are perfoming it twice a year. One during April/May and other August/September.
The next scheduled action will take place in May 25/26 and will be the 5th edition.
Since the main goals of it is to raise awareness about food waste, we decided to reduce the operation costs and number of partners as much as we can to make it replicable. Soo, we now have basically Sodexo Brazil as our major partner.

They offer us the truck, the food, some money to buy materials/communication stuff and their employees act as volunteers (both cooking and attending people in need who will receive the meal prepared.

If you want to give us more feedback or have any futher question please fell free to contact me: marcos.szrajer@stop-hunger.org.br

Photo of Sanae Benayas
Team

It think it is a very good idea and would be very interesting that you could expand to more countries to make greater impact and if not, that people can follow this initiative in a similar way.
Some ideas are:
1)Make promotion to the companies, supermarkets that give you the foo making a kind of rappel in which a company donate more food to the project can obtain major promotions, in this way you encourage businesses to donate you more.
2) Sponsor the project and make a crowdfunding, I think that if this project is known all around the world as it has a strong message and a very powerful purpose and impact could make that a lot of people donate to be part of the change.
3)Throw challenges to the most famous chefs in the country, for example creating new dishes, or making the most innovative meal; They make it for free because they want to support your goal and your project will gain visibility in a free way.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Sanae, amazing tips ! We surely will study does suggestions.
Our model is very simple and having big companies or renowned chefs will help to raise popular awareness about food waste.

Photo of cyndi jeong
Team

I think this is a great idea - 1) collect excess unused food, 2) creative chefs turn the finds into new dishes, 3) distribute to the needy... seems this would be fairly easy to implement in any/ all/many locations. All is self contained and mostly depends on how creative the chefs can be with the goods that are brought in. Could see "transporters" collecting food from markets, restaurants, stores, and bringing all to a central location. 1 to many Feedtrucks could choose items they would use for their creations- think of it as the next "Iron Chef" challenge - and all for the needy... I could see this becoming the next reality TV series!!

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Thanks for the feedback Cyndi. We are know studying the best partner (company probably) to provide the truck because is the most expensive issue. We are also talking with some NGOs that offer culinary/chef courses to unprivileged people so they can be our volunteers by the oven (a way to gain experiences and also be in the spotlight for jobs opportunity).
We should have our third event during March/April 2017.

Photo of Thomas Montpellier
Team

I like this idea because it is a great way in distributing food across the city.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Yeah. The best is we can use food trucks that already exist in their free time...

Photo of Romano RP
Team

Hi, Marcos

How do manage the variability of donated food and ingredients. Do you change your menu daily and are customers updated through a mobile food application?

Thanks, Romano.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Hi Romano, the amount of food wasted daily by food fairs, markets and supermarkets are
tremendous and from all kind (veg, meat, industrialized, etc). So, in terms of logistics, costs and efficiency we give priority to fresh produce (fruits and vegetables) because they need to be eaten quickly, attend vegetarian and vegan public, are easier to be handle and prepare.


This generates a more limited menu of options but at the same time is part of the challenge that sharpens and inspires the creativity of chefs invited for each action. 

Photo of Antonius
Team

Hey Marcos,
I think this idea is fantastic. I've looked through the comments and I couldn't find an answer to two questions I have.
1) Do you think this project could be replicated in other cities? Or do you think the culture of São Paulo is crucial for the success of the idea?
2) Have you considered teaming up with famous chefs (Jamie Oliver comes to mind) to endorse this project?

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Hy Antonius, here are answers..

1) Yes, of course. The objetive of FeedTruck is to establish a easy replicable model allowing any food truck owner of to raise the awareness about food waste while reducing the amount of food that would be discarded and offering good food for people in vulnerable situations.

No adaptation is necessary to the truck and it can be used in the idle moments to perform the actions. We believe that FEEDTRUCK will be more efficient in cities where the donation of food practiced by food fairs and markets already happens (which may depend on certain laws on food donation
varying from country to country).

2) Yes, we invited Brazilian well renowed chefs to support and participate in our events. Even Jamie Oliver knows about us because our other food waste project called Satisfeito. (www.satisfeito.com)

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

Interested in knowing where you got the excess food from and what did you cook with it!

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

I got from markets and supermarkets ! We produced mainly brazilian fruit and vegetables recipes.

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

That's pretty dope.

Photo of Michael Wells
Team

@Marcos Szrajer I like this idea because it is a great way in distributing food across the city in a way that brings the community together wherever it may go. One thing I was wondering is how are you going to gather your food resources? You said 1,000 meals, or more like snacks, would be produced by only using foods that have been discarded at food fairs and markets. I was just curious what you would do if you couldn't find the necessary amount of waste to make enough food for the citizens that desperately need it. Or if you couldn't find enough volunteers to prepare the food from the waste. Also, how do you propose on converting the excess food into other food? That was the most interesting to me, because sanitation would be a major factor that you'll have to account for (you probably already know that, but just a suggestion!). Other than that I think with the right people and support the FEEDTRUCK could do wonderful things for the people of São Paulo.

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Yeah, the principle is to use the truck mobility to reduce logistic costs by making possible to colect, sanitize, prepare and serve all the food donated by markets, supermarkets or food fairs.
About the quantity of food collected, we have partners that can provide a lot more food that we can handle, every day.
About volunteers, those events are scheduled in advance so we can recrute and confirme the sufficient number of peolple (we can make it with only 8 people in a 8 hours activity - 2 shifts)

Photo of Catalina De la Rocha
Team

What a great project! I'm also curious to know about the acquisition and sustainability of the Food Truck and how did the event on August 27th go?  Do you need any special permits from the city?
How did you choose where to take the truck?
I'm working to strenghtening the Cold Chain from grocery stores to tables The People Cold Chain and this is amazing!
Congratulations!

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Hi Catalina. The event was awesome, we served around 700 portions of good food !
We had a special permition to park the truck inside the square but parking in any street parking spot this is not necessary. We choose a landmark to atract more public.

Photo of Catalina De la Rocha
Team

Hey Marcos! Congrats on making it to the Refinement phase. 
How do you see FeedTruck being replicated in other cities? As I mentioned before, I really would love to solve the "cold chain" problem that my city has to donate "soon to expire" food to organizations and the Feed Truck seems like a great way to offer producers a safe way to dispose their produce.  What are the next steps you will take with the project and how can we contribute?

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

The event was awesome, he have videos and testemonials in our www.facebook.com/satisfeito page. I got a special license from São Paulo city traffic departament only because we parked our #feedtruck inside the square on the sidewalk.
The truck was borrowed by a company partner called Truckvan.

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Congratulations on being one of the forty ideas in the refinement phase. 

What is the next step for Feed Truck? Do you have any testimonials from the people volunteering and from the people who ate the snacks? 

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

The next step is to keep loyal partners next to us, reduce a little bit the costs by finding some equipament providers and experience different events opportunities to test our model more time before search funding partners. 

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Marcos! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 09/28" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Marcos, we updated the link to the Refinement Toolkit. Please use this new link instead: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Done ! Hope we can advance to next stage...

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Marcos!
I am glad that FeedTruck has progressed and is in the ideas phase. What were the costs of the project? Did you rent/buy the truck etc.? Would you be able to provide some more detail on the logistics side of things?

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

Of course. The truck was offered free of charge by a manufacturer TRUCKVAN. Most of the costs were with personalization (with logos), t-shirts, gas, electric generator. Everything costed something around R$6.000 (U$2.000)

Photo of Shane Zhao
Team

Great to see that FeedTruck has already launched Marcos! Perhaps you might like to include a link to the crowdfunding site so the OpenIDEO community may learn a bit more about this project?  

Photo of Marcos Szrajer
Team

include in the text and here: www.juntos.com.vc/feedtruck