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Is it a football stadium or one giant trash dump?

OK, OK — obviously it's a stadium. But consider this:


The United States wastes enough food to fill up a 90,000-seat football stadium every single day. That's ... a lot.

And what's even harder to digest is how many people go to bed hungry every night in America, even when so much food is going uneaten across the country.

Image via iStock.

Californian Nick Papadopoulos decided to do an experiment on it.

One Sunday evening in 2013, Nick stood at his family farm, staring down all the food they didn't sell at the farmers market earlier that day. He knew the perfectly edible produce would now never make a profit for his family or even end up on a dinner table of someone who truly needed it. Instead, it was going straight to the compost pile like unsold produce usually did.

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What a waste.

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He got on his farm's Facebook page and posted a status announcing a food experiment: a call for anyone to come by his farm to pick up the produce at a very discounted price.

Almost immediately, a local resident responded, organized some other community members and showed up at his door the next day to take the food off his hands and put a little money in his pocket.

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Well, that was easy.

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Nick continued with the alerts for a few weeks before realizing that this was the start of a very impactful idea: crowdsourcing homes for food at risk of going to waste. It could be done on a much larger scale.

Nick launched CropMobster, a free service that alerts people of food donations, deals, freebies, events, etc., in their area.

It works like this: Anyone with food excess and surplus in the area can quickly publish an alert. The alert gets shared via email, Facebook, and other social networking sites. When it's a good fit for someone, then victory! Discounted or free food gets in the hands of individuals, small businesses, or hunger relief groups that need it. 

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What a great way to quickly spread the word about any food excess and surplus from local suppliers, get healthy food to those in need, and help local businesses recover costs. Not to mention, it helps prevent food waste and connect the community.

Graphic via CropMobster, used with permission.

One instant alert at a time, the CropMobster community has saved approximately 2,000,000 pounds of food from going to waste, added $2,000,000 in income for hunger relievers and family businesses, and is closing in on nearly 1 million servings for individuals and hunger relief groups.  And now they are growing with the launch of new communities like CropMobster Sacramento with Valley Vision.

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2,000,000 pounds of food going into the right hands — and not into the dump — is significant. And considering that's the impact made in just one little pocket of the United States, imagine what would happen if more areas used a program like this.

We're throwing away more than one-third of all the food that's produced in the United States every year. CropMobster shows how easy it is to fix that.

With how connected social media allows us to be in our communities these days, it's a no-brainer to chip away at hunger and food waste one post at a time, one day at a time. Find out how your area can get started now.

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