FlashFlood LLC

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

FlashFlood LLC FlashFlood, LLC Value Proposition Food waste is a costly part of operating food service and food retail businesses. These types of businesses (including restaurants, caters, delis, grocers, etc.,) wasted a combined total of 129 billion pounds of food in 2008 (Gunders, 2012). While the weight of food wasted in 2012 has not yet been determined, it has been valued at $180 billion dollars (Sagner, 2013). Donating food is beneficial for businesses not only for establishing a culture of social responsibility; they are able to claim substantial tax deductions for donating food ((HR 8) (Public Law 112-240)). Keeping in mind the hectic schedules of food business managers as well as the logistical constraints of restaurants and food recovery agencies, the FlashFood mobile application was designed to make it as easy as possible for food business to donate their businesss extra food and track its monetary value for tax deductions. Thousands of food businesses are already working with food recovery agencies doing great work to recover extra food to feed the hungry, and FlashFood applies mobile technology to profoundly expand and streamline these efforts. Traditional food recovery agencies run on a food pick-up schedule that is set days or weeks in advance, and recovered foods tend to be ingredients or frozen food. For example, WasteNOT, a Phoenix-based food recovery agency, has a fleet of refrigerated trucks and a paid driver staff who collect frozen food at scheduled times from local restaurants and deliver it to local shelters. This model limits the amount of food that can be recovered for several reasons. First, food service businesses always prepare more food than they are able to sell, but cannot always anticipate when they will have extra food, especially in the case of restaurants, caterers, and delis. Consequently, they have to throw a lot away, sometimes several times throughout the day. Additionally, these businesses are often open late at night and on the weekends, which are times that food recovery agencies often do not operate. Finally, many businesses do not have the refrigeration space or ability to freeze food for food recovery agencies to pick up at a later time. Volunteers working on behalf of local food charity organizations at nights and on weekends can use the FlashFood app to coordinate the rapid and safe recovery of donated food and deliver it to local community centers or shelters. In this way, FlashFood fills a niche in the food recovery space by utilizing mobile technologies to coordinate the rapid recovery of prepared food. FlashFood will be an important technology that improves the logistics of food recovery to further reduce food waste and feed more people. Another important factor in our design is the busy schedules of food business managers. Often, food business managers want to donate their extra perishable food, but are often unable to allocate time for themselves or their employees to coordinate food donations. This is especially true for managers of restaurants and catering companies. By following a few simple steps in the FlashFood app, a food business manager can coordinate a donation of prepared, perishable food that will be recovered and delivered to those in need well within a safe time period. The mobile app also allows food businesses to provide special instructions for food transporters, such as type, quantity, and temperature of food. This helps volunteers arrive prepared to collect donated food quickly and safely. Finally, the app sends out a text message notifying the food insecure of an available donation of food for pick up. The ability to link food recipients and food donors in real time makes it possible to deliver the food while still in the safety windows of time and temperature, mitigating risk of bacterial contamination. Please see Appendix C for a detailed figure of the FlashFood Recovery Process.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date4/1/1312/31/13

Funding

  • VentureWell: National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance: $5,000.00

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