Bothered by the large amount of food waste in the industry, whether it's from a restaurant, grocery store, or catered event? The team at FlashFood Recovery has an innovative way to get extra food into hungry bellies, and you're just one Facebook "like" away from showing your support. Homegrown at Arizona State University, FlashFood is one of 12 finalists for Inc. Magazine's fifth-annual competition for America's Coolest College Start-Up.
The team behind FlashFood, a social media-powered network designed to collect excess food for donation, comprises current and former students in the engineering, marketing, and sustainability programs. Eric Lehnhardt, who began working on finding a resolution to food waste as part of an applied engineering class at ASU, was called to action when he learned that Phoenix has the third-highest rate of childhood food insecurity in the country. Nationwide, one in five children goes to bed hungry every night. With FlashFood's website and app, food can be recovered before it spoils, and the process of scheduling pickups by community members can be automated, reducing waste and getting more food on people's plates. Here's how it works:
FlashFood Recovery's pilot run will take place over the next few weeks, and Lehnhardt plans to have it fully active in two cities within a year. Because of the app's accessibility and the sustainability of the concept, FlashFood has the potential to be rolled out to cities across the United States.
Help change the way we treat leftover food by voting for FlashFood to win Inc. Magazine's grand title, and use the power of your social media to help this social-networking business help others. (Y'know, spread the word!) With two weeks to go, FlashFood is in a neck-in-neck race for first with the other top contender, WaterDrop Shop. Voting closes on Wednesday, May 1.
This post has been edited from its original version to reflect the current competition standings.