PHILADELPHIA– Mayor Jim Kenney, the Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity (CEO) and other community partners joined Food Connect to announce an app aimed at reducing hunger in the area by rescuing food that would otherwise go to waste. The app which was launched during the Democratic National Convention (DNC) was hugely successful. Operation Food Rescue as it was called, collected 11,239 pounds of food and delivered it to emergency food providers in Philadelphia in 8 days.
“Hunger hits every zip code in our area, so this is a win-win situation for the city said Mayor Jim Kenney. “It shows that Philadelphia is a socially conscious city by leveraging technology, using existing resources and caring about the environment in our fight against hunger and poverty.”
This effort is a collaboration between many of the city’s leading anti-hunger organizations including Food Connect, Philabundance, the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, the Philadelphia Food Policy Advisory Council and Share Food Program. The Food Connect App bridges the gap between surplus food and hunger by transporting excess food from large events, and from restaurants, in Philadelphia to area food banks, pantries and emergency meal providers. So far the App has been downloaded 300 times.
“When the city hosts large events, venues tend to stock up on food,” said Megha Kulshreshtha, founder of Food Connect. “With the 50,000 visitors coming in for the convention, we knew there was a big opportunity to rescue additional food, but we were thrilled with the amount of support the app received. We were making deliveries of all sizes. Bigger donations went to large meal site operations while smaller donations were sent to small shelters and pantries in the city. Donations of all sizes go a long way toward fighting hunger in Philadelphia.”
The user friendly app is here to stay. After its downloaded on a smart phone, the vendor schedules a pick up and packages the food and a driver will arrive for pickup. Safe handling standards are in place each step of the way and all donations are tax deductible.
“The amount of time it takes to throw away excess food is approximately the same amount of time it would take to package it and schedule a pickup” said Mitchell Little, executive director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Empowerment and Opportunity.
In Philadelphia, one in four people are food insecure, which is almost twice the national average. There are also more than 500 food pantries and soup kitchens; In a 2015 study of 200 of them, nearly 90% either ran out of food or had to provide less to those in need at some point during the year.
To donate, download the app at the following links:
For iPhone – https://appsto.re/us/HAqMdb.i
For Android – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.foodconnect.app
To become an agency recipient or to volunteer your time, go to www.foodconnectgroup.com
About Food Connect
Food Connect aims to bridge the gap between surplus food and hunger. The organization works closely with donors and food recipients to ensure it is safe and easy for them to make and receive donations. By eliminating some of the current barriers in the food donation process, Food Connect aims to create a culture of giving. Food Connect currently serves the greater Philadelphia area, along with surrounding counties. To become a donor, download the Food Connect app or check out our website www.foodconnectgroup.com.