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Giving Compass' Take:
• Sammy Blair, writing for Food Tank, interviews Kevin Mullins, co-founder of Food Rescue US (FRUS), an app that helps deliver food to insecure families that would otherwise go to waste.
`• How does this app address both hunger and food waste? How has other technology made an impact on the food system?
Kevin Mullins co-founded Community Plates, now known as Food Rescue US (FRUS), in 2011 to help families across the nation access fresh food otherwise destined for the landfill. Food Rescue US takes excess fresh food from different industry sources and delivers them to food insecure families via an online app. The program connects volunteer food rescuers with receiving agencies and food donors.
Food Tank spoke with Mullins about the root of America’s food insecurity, excess food waste, and how FRUS hopes to use technology and creativity to combat both.
FT: Why is there so much food waste in the restaurant and grocery industry? In addition to rescuing excess waste, how is Food Rescue US helping to deal with the root cause of the issue?
KM: It’s a combination of factors. Grocery stores and restaurants generate waste differently. One primary factor, especially in the grocery industry, is the American addiction to perfect looking food and the aesthetic of the well-stocked store. A second factor in the grocery industry is the fallacy of sell-by and expiration dates. The root of the issue is that this country doesn’t truly value food. FRUS technology ensures available food is valued all the way through its life-cycle.
FT: How does the dignity of choice, giving food recipients the option to eat fresh and healthy foods, create change in the food system?
KM: Part of our broken food system is the fact that those who are most the most vulnerable are also the most likely to eat unhealthy food. The food insecure population is more likely to eat things from boxes and cans than the food secure population. They aren’t happy about it, and they aren’t healthy because of it. Our focus on the dignity of choice is more about changing that reality than it is anything else.
Read the full article about Food Rescue US app by Sammy Blair at Food Tank.