Food Cowboy enables donation of refused truckloads

 

While flannelnerd relaxes with his family, here is a post from the archives, suggested by a  recent post from foodtank.

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Big rig loads of refused food no longer go to waste with the smartphone app, Food Cowboy.

Non-profit organizations devoted to more equitable food distribution, like others, have difficulty staying on the minds of potential donors after the giving binge brought by the holidays. As said on TV, “There’s an app for that.”n this case, potential donors are truck drivers with refused loads of perishable food, say, eggplant or potatoes. “They say it should be dark or it should be purple. I’m not really sure what color eggplant is supposed to be, but a lot of times, eggplant is refused because it’s not the color they want,” explains long-haul trucker, Richard Gordon, who spoke to the radio program, Marketplace. “Or you might get a load of potatoes with too many eyes in it or too many curves and they reject it for that reason.”

Richard Gordon and brother Roger Gordon have a long history of serving the public good. Richard has hauled humanitarian supplies as part of FEMA’s response team during every hurricane disaster since 1992. Roger is a lawyer who has served Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the League of Urban Gardeners, both in San Francisco. They never enjoyed seeing loads like these go to waste. At first, they would team up to donate refused loads. In 2012, they launched the smartphone app, Food Cowboy, to connect unwanted food with food banks and soup kitchens.

When a driver posts the availability of food to the app, he gets responses from organizations who need it. He can do this while posting his own needs, like where he’s headed, and the size and capability of his vehicle in potentially tight places. The organizations pay ten cents a pound, and the suppliers get a tax write-off.

Food Cowboy also enables supermarket produce managers, restaurant garde mangers, and others along the supply chain to post the availability of unwanted perishables. Then, non-profits may pick them up, or consumers volunteer to take them there.

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