Copia Feeds the Hungry and Reduces Restaurant Waste
A chance encounter with a homeless veteran inspired UC Berkley undergrad Komal Ahmad, to conquer the hunger crisis head on. Five years later, she is giving back with her app-based company Copia, a service for on-demand food donations.
The Environmental Protection agency reports a staggering 35 million tons of food are wasted in the United States annually. At the same time 1 in 6 people go hungry. According to the Department of Agriculture 30-40% of food available in the United States (approximately 133 billion pounds) ends up in landfills. Ahmad saw this problem first hand within her college cafeteria and the homeless population in the area.
She founded Copia to reduce food waste by redirecting resources. Businesses, caterers, or other event hosts that want to make a donation send a picture of their extra food and schedule a pickup time through the app or online. The app matches the donation to a nearby organization and driver to pick up and deliver the food. Businesses pay a small fee per pickup and in return are able to write the donation off of their taxes.
Since its creation, Ahmad and the Copia team have redistributed more than 830,000 pounds of food from 150 clients across the state of California. These donations have helped feed nearly 700,000 people. Next up, the California-based company is looking to expand. Ahmad has her eye on Boston, New York, and Chicago in the next year and foreign leaders in Germany and Austria have also expressed interest in the technology.
If you would like to learn more about the Copia app and Ahmad’s quest to end hunger visit their website: gocopia.com.
Sources: Fast Company, San Francisco Chronicle, Mashable