Inspiration

Did you go apple picking this fall? How many slightly imperfect apples did you overlook? Consider the farmer who cannot sell those apples to the supermarkets or restaurants will have to just throw them away and waste valuable labor in the process.

Also consider that Americans throw away $165 Million of food per year and nearly 49.1 million people live in food-insecure households. There are some large generators of food waste (farms, supermarkets, restaurants, and businesses), but they don't always have the time or resources to donate this food.

What it does

Thought4Food helps make it easier to donate food that cannot be sold or used. We help those who donate realize the potential tax credits available by calculating their potential credits based on the USDA commodity market value. This helps to demonstrate the value of donation to their business and makes donation a more viable option.

We also help donors quickly and easily find food banks in their area that need the specific food they produce to donate.

This product focuses on the category of public policy and advocacy for the food banks as well as farmers.

How I built it

Web based application using php, mySQL, html5, and JavaScript. The calculator takes data from the USDA commodity index and calculates the market value of the type and amount of food being donated.

Challenges I ran into

Location based services, pricing indexes, generating ways to incentivize food producers to give beyond just the good feeling they'll get.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

Tried approaches we hadn't tried before and made them happen quickly.

What I learned

There is a ton of food waste and a lot of needy people. There are 74 food pantries in Buffalo alone.

What's next for Thought4Food

Continued work on creating the connections. Testing user interface with actual users in the industries served. Advocating food waste be sent to pantries. Expanding beyond farmers to supermarkets, restaurants, and businesses. Expanding beyond just food waste and considering other donations through a scaleable platform. Expanding beyond WNY. Possible volunteer network where volunteer are alerted with SMS to pick up and drop off delivery of food.

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