49 million people go hungry every day in the United States. Meanwhile, nearly 30 million tons of unused food is thrown out each year by consumers, bakeries, caterers, and restaurants. A new app called Feeding Forward is working to solve the hunger problem by using this waste for good.
The app gathers unused food and gives it those that need it most. Much like Uber allows users to get a ride at any location at the click of a button, the app allows food service providers to use their mobile devices to notify Feeding Forward drivers when they have leftover or unused food. The Feeding Forward drivers track the food service provider’s location, pick up the unused food, and deliver it to homeless shelters and food kitchens in the area.
While the app’s primary goal is to feed the hungry, it has other health implications as well. A 2002 National Institute of Health study found that hunger was a strong predictor of childhood health problems. In an example of how hunger can impact those with specific diseases, research has shown that impoverished diabetic, hypoglycemic patients are more likely to have a hypoglycemic event during the last week of the month when their food subsidies run out, as opposed to during the first weeks of a month. In other words, hunger is closely associated with health issues. Preventative care, like providing meals to those in need, is critical for saving visits to the doctor and cutting costs associated with uninsured and government run insurance programs.
The quest to end hunger in the U.S. and around the world has been around for a long time. But now, using mobile can have an immediate and lasting impact to help those in need and reduce our environmental waste.
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