Washington, DC (PRWEB) June 23, 2014
“Food is wasted because it is perishable and expensive to move, so when it can’t be sold it usually ends up in dumpsters,” said co-founder Richard Gordon, a trucker who has been transporting fresh produce for 25 years. “Getting that food to the hungry requires real-time information about where it is, what it is, and where it needs to go. Our app gives truckers that information just like taxi companies use apps to connect drivers with passengers.”
Food Cowboy’s other founders are his brother, Roger, who worked his way through law school as a caterer, and Barbara Cohen, Ph.D., the author of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit and one of the founders of the food security movement. They were joined earlier this year by ex-Googler Ikezi Kamanu.
Food Cowboy collects ten cents for every pound of food it routes from wholesalers to food banks, which is less than half what the charities pay in transportation fees for donations today. “Between the savings to food banks and the savings to donors in taxes, it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Plus, hungry people get fresh produce instead of canned goods,” said Roger Gordon.
Earlier this month, Fast Company Magazine named Food Cowboy one of 2014's 100 Most Creative Businesses. Others on the list include the designers of Amazon’s drone delivery service, the founders of Tinder and QuizUp, and the Director of Concept Design for Starbucks.
Food Cowboy is the only seed-stage tech startup to be included in this year’s Top 100 list. Earlier this year, the USDA’s Office of Sustainability asked Food Cowboy to help it identify other entrepreneurs that are developing new ways to fight hunger and waste.
Food Cowboy’s advisory board includes a retired Marine Corps general, the founder of DC Central Kitchen and L.A. Kitchen, a former USDA Acting Under Secretary for Food Safety, and the designer of food safety systems for the Apollo moon program.
Coming this fall: The Great Food Roundup
This fall, Food Cowboy will release a second app for consumers who want to help identify and rescue food right in their communities. Consumers today spend twice as much on food they end up wasting as the federal government spends on food stamps.
Codenamed The Great Food Roundup, the campaign will allow consumers to “tag” restaurants, supermarkets, and other potential food donors on a map that local charities can then use to set up food rescue routes. The app includes tools for scheduling, issuing tax receipts and connecting with social media so donors get credit every time they donate surplus food.
There is no charge to charities or donors for locally-rescued food.
Food banks and pantries can register to receive supply chain donations at FoodCowboy.com.
(See how it works on Today’s Green Minute: http://bit.ly/1mROQa0)