What began as an initiative at her university has quickly turned into a national program that helps to fedd thousands of homeless people everyday. Feeding Forward, a not-for-profit service and phone app created by University of California, Berkeley student Komal Ahmad, allows users to donate uneaten food from the a place of business or event to local homeless shelters.
The program first began at the university where Ahmad attended after being inspired by a homeless man and realized the excess food waste epidemic in America. It initially started out with donations of uneaten food from the university’s dining halls before it spread to more than 140 colleges around the country in as little as three years.
Then, in 2013, Ahmad "launched a phone app to encourage private companies and event planners to donate extra food," according to the website, theAntiMedia.org, creating the "not-for-profit service" that arranges food delivery directly to the areas and the people who need it most. It "encourage private companies and event planners to donate extra food," according to the website, theAntiMedia.org.
The app, which was recently a global news feature, has reached people worldwide, who want to get involved in the program.
“I didn’t expect it to blow up…People as far as Nairobi, Bangalore and Hong Kong have wrote us asking us to expand Feeding Forward to their cities and countries. They’re like, ‘Tell me what I can do to get it here,’” Ahmad said in an interview with NY Daily News.
Her effort is part of a growing movement to solve hunger and food waste not only in the U.S., but throughout the world.
“We need to figure out how to establish sustainable solutions that can distribute the food we already have faster and get it to people who need it faster and safely," Ahmad said.
So far, the app has the app has fed more than 575,000 homeless people through the redistributing of 690,000 pounds of excess food just in San Francisco.
“[Food waste] is literally the world’s dumbest problem. “Hunger is bad—it’s terrible everywhere—but in America, in the most prosperous, industrialized country in the world, this just shouldn’t exist,” Ahmad said.