Komal Ahmad was just a young college student at UC Berkeley when she got the idea for Feeding Forward, an online service that matches businesses that have surplus food with nearby homeless shelters. Anyone can use the nonprofit's website or app to report a donation of excess food, and immediately a driver will be dispatched to their location to pick it up and transport it to a facility where it can be distributed to those in need.
This is a revolutionary project – and desperately needed. In the United States, 1 in 6 people doesn't have access to enough food. Meanwhile, every single day, Americans waste enough food to fill a football stadium to its brim. We have enough food; the question is just how to distribute it to those who need it.
Feeding Forward is working hard to solve that logistics problem. So far, the small organization only serves the San Francisco Bay area, but Ahmad has plans to expand it to more cities, such as Seattle and Boston, in the near future.
I really hope to see this nonprofit take off and grow in a big way in the near future. As someone who is learning more and more about how grave America's food distribution problems are, I love knowing that organizations like Feeding Forward are making strides towards re-routing some of the huge quantities of edible leftovers we waste every day. Imagine, in the face of a fridge stuffed full of too many leftovers, being able to simply open an app and tap a button, and poof! Someone arrives to take that excess food to people who really need it. It's a fantasy that I hope will someday soon become a reality.