It can seem like such a waste tossing a plate of perfectly good leftovers into the trash, something Americans are familiar with considering they throw away 40 percent of their food. But through the use of mobile technology, one startup is aiming to change that.
We’ve all heard the motto “reuse, recycle and reduce” as a way to inspire individuals to do their small part in keeping the planet healthy. But the startup Food Cowboy is expanding this movement to potentially help millions of Americans.
Food Cowboy’s app connects for-profit and nonprofit food distributors with the ambitious goal to end hunger in America. In 2013, 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, according to Feeding America. In addition, Americans spend $165 billion per year on food waste, according to the National Resources Defense Council, which is twice as much as what the government spends on food stamps.
Here’s how the Food Cowboy app works: Food donors enter in information to the app, such as food type, temperature, quantity and description. Then nearby food banks provide logistics on where and when they can receive the delivery.
Though a smart idea, the founders aren’t your typical startup tech geeks; Richard Gordon came up with the idea after attempting to drop off a truck full of unwanted food late at night only to find that most nonprofits were closed. Food Cowboy’s mission is to eradicate this problem by acting as a communication line.
“We are an air traffic control system for food that is coming in from a donor and going out to a recipient charity,” Barbara Cohen, a Food Cowboy co-founder, told CNBC.
Food Cowboy operates on a double bottom line; redistribute food waste to the needy and save food distributors — and arguably the nation — a lot of money.
Top photo courtesy of Food Cowboy