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• News Deeply reports on an app by a Nigerian inventor that allows local groups to purchase food close to its expiration date from grocery stores and feed it to the hungry.
• This is a good example on how technology can serve the greater good. After you read this piece, be sure to ask: What are we doing to support entrepreneurs working in the aid and development sector?
Oscar Ekponimo, the Nigerian inventor of a web app improving food accessibility and affordability for poverty-stricken people, had his “epiphany” when he was strolling the aisles of a supermarket in 2014 and unearthed a can of tuna that was about to expire.
“I pulled [the can] off the shelf and I said to the shopkeeper, ‘Hey look, expiring in a matter of a week,’” the 31-year-old software engineer explained. They were “throwing away food that was still consumable because it had reached its expiry date.”
Today, Ekponimo’s app Chowberry, notifies retailers in real-time when their food items are approaching expiry and lets them initiate discounts on them, which allows non-governmental organizations to distribute them to needy people. Through the app, those organizations can order products listed by Chowberry’s partner retail shops, receive a unique code which they present at stores and then take the food home.
The discounts, which can reach up to 75 percent, increase as their sell-by date approaches.
It’s one approach to a global problem. Despite a billion people around the world experiencing hunger, up to one-third of all food is destroyed post-harvest and through transportation, or is thrown away by consumers and stores, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
In Nigeria, which has over 182 million people, making it Africa’s most populated country, 60 percent of people live below the poverty line, on less than $1 a day, according to the World Food Program (WFP). Ekponimo hopes to make even a small difference.
Read the full article about how an app is fighting hunger in Nigeria by Amy Fallon at News Deeply.