CropMobster is the solution to food waste every community should try.
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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.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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