24 min

Efficient Food Rescue and Waste Prevention - a Business Strategy The Leading Voices in Food

    • Health & Fitness

Our guest today is Jasmine Crowe-Houston, social entrepreneur, and founder of Goodr.co. Jasmine started her journey cooking soul food for hungry unhoused people in her kitchen in her one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta. She fed upwards of 500 people a week for years with pop-up kitchens and parks and parking lots. Then in 2017, she founded Goodr, a technology-based food waste management company that connects firms with food surpluses to nonprofit organizations that can use the food. She has worked with organizations that have food waste issues, such as the Atlanta International Airport, Hormel Foods, and Turner Broadcasting. Today, Goodr has expanded nationwide and sponsors free grocery stores and schools. She has combined charity, innovation, and market-based solutions into a for-profit waste management company that Inc. Magazine called a rare triple win. 
This episode is in collaboration with Policy360, a podcast of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Interview Summary
 
Would you describe what Goodr is today?
 
Goodr is a blessing. We are a sustainable food waste management company that leverages technology to connect businesses that have excess food to non-profit organizations that can use that food. And at the same time, we have a line of business, which is Hunger Solutions, and we're helping brands and government and other municipalities rethink how hunger is solved in their communities. We believe that hunger is not an issue of scarcity. It's really a matter of logistics. And so, we are using technology and logistics to drive out hunger and food waste. We've built technology that includes our mobile app and portal. Imagine you are using an Uber Eats or DoorDash app. You go onto your favorite restaurant; you click the item that you want. Similar experience for our users. So, for example, a restaurant in the airport. Their menu is in our system. They click chicken sandwich; they tell us 50. Our platform is going to calculate the tax value of those sandwiches, the approximate weight of those sandwiches, and our algorithm is automatically matching those sandwiches with the non-profit that is serving 50 or more people that can take those items and then get it distributed to people in need. Another big thing that our technology is capturing is the poundage that we're keeping out a landfill. So, it's really important because we're able to tell our clients we have kept 2 million pounds of food from landfills. This is equal to this much CO2 emissions that you've helped to prevent. We do a lot of fun gamifications as well, but we're data-driven and we believe that you can't manage what you don't measure. And for too long, people have thrown everything away. They've never measured it. And now we're giving them real insights and they're seeing things like, wow, my number one wasted thing is pork. Why am I making pork so much? Maybe people here at our offices don't eat pork. Start to make changes. So, we really work on the source reduction, but the number two on the EPA is the food hierarchy chart is feeding hungry people. And so that's really where we are.
 
Wow, that's amazing. I want to ask because I've seen this in the food waste and food donation world, that sometimes food that's donated isn't appropriate or fit for human consumption. What happens to those food products?
 
Traditionally, they end up in landfills. One of the big things that we have to do at Goodr, and I'll tell you too, that change is by county. So, think of not by city, not by state. Wake County and Durham County probably have different rules because it's based off the health department in each city. So, a good example is when we were working in Florida, what we do in Miami is absolutely illegal in Fort Lauderdale. They're 10 minutes away from each other. Broward County and Dade County have different rules. So, we spend a lot of time, our R&D team, creating quality assurance checklists. And we know this food is goin

Our guest today is Jasmine Crowe-Houston, social entrepreneur, and founder of Goodr.co. Jasmine started her journey cooking soul food for hungry unhoused people in her kitchen in her one-bedroom apartment in Atlanta. She fed upwards of 500 people a week for years with pop-up kitchens and parks and parking lots. Then in 2017, she founded Goodr, a technology-based food waste management company that connects firms with food surpluses to nonprofit organizations that can use the food. She has worked with organizations that have food waste issues, such as the Atlanta International Airport, Hormel Foods, and Turner Broadcasting. Today, Goodr has expanded nationwide and sponsors free grocery stores and schools. She has combined charity, innovation, and market-based solutions into a for-profit waste management company that Inc. Magazine called a rare triple win. 
This episode is in collaboration with Policy360, a podcast of the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.
Interview Summary
 
Would you describe what Goodr is today?
 
Goodr is a blessing. We are a sustainable food waste management company that leverages technology to connect businesses that have excess food to non-profit organizations that can use that food. And at the same time, we have a line of business, which is Hunger Solutions, and we're helping brands and government and other municipalities rethink how hunger is solved in their communities. We believe that hunger is not an issue of scarcity. It's really a matter of logistics. And so, we are using technology and logistics to drive out hunger and food waste. We've built technology that includes our mobile app and portal. Imagine you are using an Uber Eats or DoorDash app. You go onto your favorite restaurant; you click the item that you want. Similar experience for our users. So, for example, a restaurant in the airport. Their menu is in our system. They click chicken sandwich; they tell us 50. Our platform is going to calculate the tax value of those sandwiches, the approximate weight of those sandwiches, and our algorithm is automatically matching those sandwiches with the non-profit that is serving 50 or more people that can take those items and then get it distributed to people in need. Another big thing that our technology is capturing is the poundage that we're keeping out a landfill. So, it's really important because we're able to tell our clients we have kept 2 million pounds of food from landfills. This is equal to this much CO2 emissions that you've helped to prevent. We do a lot of fun gamifications as well, but we're data-driven and we believe that you can't manage what you don't measure. And for too long, people have thrown everything away. They've never measured it. And now we're giving them real insights and they're seeing things like, wow, my number one wasted thing is pork. Why am I making pork so much? Maybe people here at our offices don't eat pork. Start to make changes. So, we really work on the source reduction, but the number two on the EPA is the food hierarchy chart is feeding hungry people. And so that's really where we are.
 
Wow, that's amazing. I want to ask because I've seen this in the food waste and food donation world, that sometimes food that's donated isn't appropriate or fit for human consumption. What happens to those food products?
 
Traditionally, they end up in landfills. One of the big things that we have to do at Goodr, and I'll tell you too, that change is by county. So, think of not by city, not by state. Wake County and Durham County probably have different rules because it's based off the health department in each city. So, a good example is when we were working in Florida, what we do in Miami is absolutely illegal in Fort Lauderdale. They're 10 minutes away from each other. Broward County and Dade County have different rules. So, we spend a lot of time, our R&D team, creating quality assurance checklists. And we know this food is goin

24 min

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