Feed Now is a program that aims to help local homeless community, low-income households, and those who are under food insecurity with surplus food supplies that would have been tossed away by restaurants, school cafeterias and dining halls, catering companies, and individuals. Our mission is to make sure that the surplus food resources go to where it is needed the most, by expanding our food network, identifying more suppliers and more demanders in the same area, and connecting both parties in real time.
Feed Now has both online and offline phase. The online phase consists of an app and a web platform that connect demand parties with “Food Hero” (food suppliers) within 15 miles. This geo-based feature ensures that the surplus food can be delivered on demand. Within a short amount of time, the demand parties will receive ready-to-eat meal from our warm-hearted Food Heroes. The food delivery can be arranged by either of the parties, or members from our Feed Now network. In return, each meal and delivery service will translate to Food Hero points, that can be redeemed for grocery store gift cards. Furthermore, food heroes will see the measurable impacts of their donations and services delivered.
For offline phase, Feed Now will partner with university on-campus cafeterias, and Campus Kitchen Program to work out a schedule for student volunteers to come in, collect excess food, and then deliver them to local community. Campus dinning ensures the nutritional facts, quantity and continuous supplies at a relatively fixed schedule, thus is the ideal partner for Feed Now to feed the people in need in our local community.
How we differentiate from all the other great organizations such as Second Helping, is that we aim to make sure that the food goes to where it is needed the most. Often times, food resources are transferred to larger local charities such as Ronald McDonald’s House, and smaller groups of population, especially the homeless community and low-income individuals, are often neglected. On the other hand, programs such as Campus Kitchen and Second Helping often face challenges of exploring more potential organizations and individuals that need food the most. Feed Now serves as third bridge connecting both parties at a timely manner, optimizing the excess food distribution system.
Where are you at with the solution? Evaluating and researching solution
Why might this be a valuable solution for Indy? In Indiana, 15% of Hoosiers don’t know where their next meal is going to come from, and 30% of them is children. On the other hand, 40% of all food in the U.S. is wasted, yet 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry. There has been a huge disconnection between food waste and people who are food insecure. Feed Now’s mission is to help bridge this gap by connecting resources within the same area, where food donors, food receivers, and delivery resources are all clustered. Similar idea with Cluster truck, Feed Now rescue ready-to-eat excess food and transfer them to the people who need the most, timely and efficiently. By optimizing the resource distribution within our community, we hope to fully utilize the food resources that we have already to help people that in immediate needs.
What resources, advice or support would be helpful for you in moving forward? We need someone who can help build our web and mobile platform, as well as initial funding to cover marketing and operation expenses. Further, resources on government grants and funding would be extremely helpful.
Lead contact: Iris Wang