At the end of many events large amounts of food sometimes remains. This is often just thrown into the trash can. Wouldn't it be great to donate those food surpluses to charity? In New York there is an app which makes this possible.
Transfernation is the name of that app. This way you show that you have excess food and you can contact volunteers which transport it to the right destination. The app was launched in 2013 and has thus far supplied more than €10,000 pounds of food to homeless people organisations and other organisations in New York.
Samir Goel, one of the app's inventors, calls it the 'Uber for food rescue'. He explains how it works: "Event organisers put information about their event live. Based on the location, the app searches available volunteers to pick up the food. The geofencing that has been integrated into the app informs you when the volunteer will pick up the food and when he will deliver it to the charity."
According to Goel, the most important thing is educate the event planners about the shelf life of the food. "Of course, there are laws regarding food safety which should be respected. Therefore, you as an event planner should provide information on how long the food has been prepared and displayed and under what circumstances. It is up to the receiving aid organisations to determine whether they will immediately give away the food or keep it for longer."
Up until now, the app has mainly been financed with subsidies and individual donations. Goel is working on a sort of pricing model for event planners. "It has to be interesting to them. Using Transfernation, they should be able to save money and at the same time increase their social impact by contributing to sustainable solutions for excess foods." Transfernation has by now also developed plans for expansion outside of New York.