With nearly 40 million Americans facing food insecurity, there is an enormous need and opportunity for recovery organizations to deliver more food at scale and become operationally sustainable. Developing earned revenue models and adopting innovative technology solutions are key to solving this problem. From its work tracking the latest food recovery trends and insights, ReFED has identified several examples of these efforts already underway.
Fee-For-Service Donation Platform and Driver Partnership with DoorDash at Replate
Replate, a Berkeley, California-based innovator, has technology that breaks the mold of a traditional recovery organization by utilizing strategies from the sharing economy to fight hunger. Using a fee-for-service revenue model, its web-based platform enables businesses such as Yelp, Facebook and LinkedIn to schedule on-demand pickups for surplus food.
Rather than relying on a volunteer-based transportation workforce, which can lead to challenges with consistency and reliability, Replate pays its drivers. The organization also has a partnership with DoorDash via Project DASH to leverage DoorDash’s logistics platform and Dasher (driver) network to supplement food deliveries. Since the launch of Project DASH in 2018, other recovery innovators such as Copia, Transfernation, Urban Gleaners, and 412 Food Rescue have also formed partnerships with DoorDash.
Replate also allows its donors to claim charitable tax deductions, and the web-based platform helps calculate the financial savings of donations. By providing a quality service many are willing to pay for, Replate demonstrates how technology-enabled solutions can recover more fresh, healthy and prepared food.
Dignified Recovered Food Retail at Daily Table
Daily Table, an innovative nonprofit retailer with two locations in the Greater Boston area, offers fresh produce, packaged items and prepared meals at affordable prices to all customers who sign up for a free membership. Recovering food that would otherwise be wasted, Daily Table sells healthy food at discounted prices which are competitive with fast-food restaurants. This unique business model provides clients with the dignity of buying affordable, high-quality food combined with the flexibility to make purchasing decisions based on individual food preferences. The organization’s recovery strategy fights hunger while reducing reliance on philanthropic funding.