Can Politics Feed The Hungry?
The Huffington Posts’ recent article “Waste Now, Want Not” is a clear shout-out to the way mobile apps can improve the lives of so many people.
The piece, written by Elyse Wanshel, outlines how restaurants will connect the dots for food programs in Philadelphia – the City of Brotherly Love – by using an app to determine how best to serve Democratic National Convention (DNC) leftovers to the hungry.
At first glance, you might be thinking, “Left overs? Is that the best they can do?” Yes, it is. By leftovers we don’t mean the uneaten portion of someone’s hamburger. We’re taking about the oodles of food that no one will even get to. Truthfully, just how much potato salad can one eat?
According to Wanshel, who is a Good News editor, the Food Connect app helps match restaurants, hotels, caterers and other local companies with excess food with Philly-based pantries and shelters.
Food Connect’s first big roll out will be in conjunction with the convention, but will remain active after the DNC is over so it can continue to service the city.
That’s what makes the idea so compelling. It’s not just a look-good in the moment activity.
Something similar was done – well before mobile phones were popular – to take care of the less fortunate because it was the right, and the smart, thing to do.
His Holiness the Dalai Lama made a visit to San Francisco in the early 2000’s and the site of his visit was a large convention center downtown near City Hall. As it happens, City Hall was, and still is, a very popular spot for homeless people to gather together.
Members of the Buddhist community who organized this event made it a point to deliver not only the uneaten servings of prepared food but they also hand-delivered – without media fanfare - their own plates of food to the men and women who covered the civic center’s lawn.
We knew about it because as journalists at the time we covered the event. Otherwise it was not tooted in any way.
How It Works
A food donor – anonymous or not – chooses the option to give and then enters or selects the location. That information is funneled to a volunteer driver who will deliver the food to an emergency meal site, food pantry, food bank or community shelter in Philadelphia.
Taking a cue from prior BIG events in the city, like the visit of Pope Francis thousands of pounds of fresh edible food reportedly went to waste. Megha Kulshreshtha, the entrepreneur behind the app set out to change that.
Good for her!