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One in five children in America goes to bed hungry every night, and FlashFood's home state of Arizona has the third highest rate of child food insecurity in America. Yet one 40% of all food in the U.S. is wasted. By connecting local caterers, restaurants, and grocers with food collection agencies and hungry Americans, the FlashFood app will reduce food waste and feed the hungry like never before.
The FlashFood mobile application leverages the power of instant communication to bridge the gaps between food service vendors, community organizations, and the hungry. If a vendor has excess food, he or she can instantly tell a local community organization that they wish to donate it. That organization can then 1) coordinate pick up of the food and 2) alert food recipients of an upcoming donation at a nearby community center.
The primary application users will be food collection agencies and donors including caterers, conference venues, restaurants, and grocers; each will be able to create an individual profile with distinct capabilities. Prior to an event, an event manager can post a notification of excess food on a digital calendar. An agency will agree to be “on call” for the night and takes responsibility for picking up any donations. The app will automatically provide the driver with the route to the venue, further simplifying the process of food recovery.
FlashFood also instantly connects agencies with the people they serve. Once the agency knows how much food is being donated, it can instantly send out a text message alert to a specific number of community members who live in food insecurity. Randomization of telephone numbers and demand prediction technologies will be used to efficiently provide the most food to the most people. The venue will utilize the app to confirm that the pick-up has been made and that food is on the way. This simple, user-friendly app automates this complicated process by streamlining communication.
Our app can recover food in any community by connecting agencies and donors, while automating the scheduling process and reaching even more people in need. Phoenix is home to the world’s first food bank, and now it is home to the world’s first mobile application dedicated to food recovery.