Jasmine Crowe, the founder of food waste management company Goodr, believes that hunger is not an issue of scarcity, but rather a matter of logistics. So, she set out to combat hunger with technology by creating an excess-food inventory and donation app for businesses in 2017.
Her company, which recently received Capital One Ventures’ first impact investment, provides a technology platform that helps firms track their food surplus and direct it where it needs to go. Its secure ledger provides real-time social and environmental impact analysis on every food donation.
“All the user has to do now is click on an item, tell us how many they have to donate, and our platform calculates the weight and the tax value of those items at time of donation,” she explained at a TEDWomen talk. “We then connect with local drivers in the shared economy to get this food picked up and delivered directly to the doors of nonprofit organizations and people in need.”
She says Goodr’s mission is simple: “Feed more, waste less.” Her company has worked with over 200 brands and corporations, such as the Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson airport, the NFL, Hormel, Chick-fil-A, and Papa John’s. This helped divert over two million pounds of edible food from landfills to people.
“The Goodr model aims to provide a triple-win solution by improving an organization’s bottom line through charitable tax donations, reducing its greenhouse emissions from landﬁlls and getting its edible surplus food to local communities in need,” states the company’s website.
Another Goodr initiative is the launch of popup grocery stores. It features the recovery of food from businesses and sets up free community grocery stores in the areas of greatest need. “We wanted to give people meals and not just-food. We wanted to change the way that we think and work to solve hunger in this country,” she said. Goodr’s popup stores have also played an important role during the pandemic by delivering food and emergency meal kits to some of the hardest-hit areas.
Crowe said that hunger reduction efforts have been ineffectively executed many years. There are still 891 million food-insecure people worldwide, which is one in nine globally. In the U.S., 40 million are still food insecure every year. This includes more than 11 million children. Yet, food goes to waste, landfills, and contributes to carbon pollution.
While this Capital One Ventures investment was the first in the area of ESG, Adam Boutin, who’s been spearheading the project since last year says it won’t be the last.“I, like many others, believe we’re entering a new era of corporate responsibility, gradually away from the shareholder absolutism that marked much of our recent history,” he said in a post on Medium. “As such, I am a firm believer that we are about to see a new generation of startups focused on “doing well by doing good”, or, generating long-term shareholder value through products that genuinely benefit humanity”