[Photo: courtesy Goodr]
Jasmine Crowe had been hosting formal pop-up dinners for the homeless in Atlanta for about two and a half years when a video about her efforts went viral in January 2016. The most common question among viewers surprised her. “Which restaurants donated the food?” she says they asked. “And the reality was that no restaurants donated the food. I literally was just taking volunteer donations and spending sometimes my last money to make these things happen.”
Crowe decided to change that: In January 2017 she launched Goodr, a food-waste management company that redirects surplus food from businesses to nonprofits that can share it with those who are food insecure.
“Hunger is not a scarcity issue. There’s more than enough food. It’s actually a logistics issue,” she says. After all, many restaurants, catering, and event companies often end up with plenty of leftovers, but don’t want to cost or liability of figuring out how to donate and deliver them to those in need. At the same time, those in need–not just the homeless, but also low-income families and the elderly–may not have the time or transportation to plug into existing free-meal services or food banks in their area.
Goodr solves that through an app that allows its clients to signal that there’s a surplus ready to be collected. The company provides its own packaging (when needed) and transport for each item and logs every part of the transaction via the blockchain, creating an unalterable digital ledger that shows food providers who ultimately received their goods, and where they ended up being consumed. Beneficiaries can also access a shared dashboard to share testimonials with the donors.