Food & Drink

The Robin Hood of Food Insecurity Arrives in DC

New app Goodr connects food providers with leftovers to non-profits who feed the hungry.

After a big catered event at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pounds upon pounds of food are left over. For several years, the chamber has donated that food to So Others Might Eat (SOME), using their own employees to donate the food.

Since April 3, however, a new app in town has allowed the chamber to get food to SOME and other nonprofits much more efficiently. Goodr closes the gap between food providers with leftovers and nonprofits looking to feed the hungry, and it does so while paying its drivers a living wage.

Jasmine Crowe started Goodr after witnessing firsthand just how much needed to be done about food insecurity. Since 2014, she had been running "Sunday Soul" Pop-Up Dinners for homeless people in cities like Atlanta and Washington.

When she realized how much wasted food could be used for these dinners, she knew she had to help others connect the dots.

"I was providing [food] to kind of these vulnerable populations," Crowe said, "but at the same time, all this perfectly good food was going to waste."

Goodr launched in Atlanta in 2017, and by the beginning of 2018 its app was ready. By using the app, caterers can track how many pounds of food they’re wasting, what food they’re wasting the most of and their estimated tax savings to date.

Crowe says the service, which does cost food providers a volume-based fee based on how much food is donated, is a more ethical and cost-effective alternative to just throwing the food away.

"You're already paying a waste management bill, with Goodr we are coming in and serving as a waste management bill just as a different realm," Crowe said.

Because Goodr quantifies exactly how much food is being donated, it aids caterers in filing for tax breaks on their donations. Under the Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act, a federal law signed by President Clinton in 1996, caterers operating under good faith aren’t liable for any unintended risks associated with food donations.

According to food waste nonprofit ReFED, corporations who are donating food under certain circumstances may be eligible to "deduct up to 15% of their taxable income for food donations."

For Crowe, though, the focus isn’t on tax breaks, but rather on finding ways to redistribute food from those who have too much to those who have too little.

"I think there's a lot of opportunity," Crowe said. "We show them what it really means to get food to people in need."

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