Today on my podcast, I wanted to introduce all my listeners to a non-profit based in Philadelphia, PA, Food Connect. I discovered Food Connect when I was looking for a charity to donate the funds we had raised from our SBAignite Platform. Food Connect is an organization dedicated to bridging the gap between surplus food and hunger through collaboration and technology. Food Connect has helped distribute over 3 million on-demand meals through their last-mile transport and logistics support in the hunger relief space. The Food Connect app has helped over 800+ food vendors across the country donate their surplus food in real-time. In addition, over 750+ shelters have received free food donations through the app. Currently, Food Connect helps deliver on average 30,000+ meals a week. Food Connect's work has been recognized nationally in the hunger relief space for its innovation in collaboration, integrations, and food equity initiatives.
Megha Kulshreshtha is the Founder and Executive Director of Food Connect. I sat down with her to talk more about what they do and how COVID has impacted them. Megha started FoodConnect when she saw high levels in both the amount of extra food that was being wasted and food insecurity rates. One of the problems was that restaurants didn’t know if they could safely or even legally donate food. Luckily, by incorporating more technology and communication, Megha was able to start bridging the gap.
How did COVID impact them? Initially, when everything was forced to close down, all these restaurants had tons of extra food that needed to be picked up immediately or thrown out. In addition, more people were losing their jobs, and the typical meal service line model that they were using was no longer allowed. In response, they quickly pivoted to having a very flexible distribution model. Pick-up sites began popping up outside in public areas, and they started delivering directly to people’s homes.
Listen Here to hear more about their COVID pivot: https://bit.ly/3z0EVdz