Ever feel immense guilt about leaving leftovers at a restaurant? Well, there’s an app for that too. Feeding San Diego is here to assuage some of that guilt with MealConnect, an app designed to help restaurants, catering companies, and event centers donate leftovers to local food banks.
The completely free service aspires to bridge the gap between hunger and waste.
In San Diego alone, one in eight people experience food hunger, while 40% of all food produced is wasted. MealConnect is a completely online platform, which has already reduced 1.6 billion pounds of food since the program’s US debut.
San Diego became the eighth city in the country to launch MealConnect in November 2019, joining major markets like Washington DC, San Antonio, and Austin.
Restaurants can sign up for free through the app and report food that meets the guidelines for product donation, Notifications are sent to the donor’s phone once a driver has accepted the food donation and a pickup time is scheduled. Trained volunteer drivers collect and deliver the food to local food banks. To ensure the safe handling and distribution of food items, Feeding San Diego implements strict food-safety standards.
“Every day, San Diego throws away more than enough food to solve hunger,” says Vince Hall, CEO of Feeding San Diego. “MealConnect is an exciting new way for the community to divert good food from going to waste so it can be used to help feed the people in San Diego County struggling with hunger.”
The number of local companies that have joined MealConnect is growing, and currently includes a variety of venues such as: Bread & Cie, Pure Burger, Toast Catering, The French Oven Bakery, and more. Those interested in joining the food donation effort are encouraged to get the app and signup online.