What We Do

(Check out our website at www.flashfoodrecovery.com !)

FlashFood is a food recovery network, powered by social media, that feeds the hungry by collecting excess food from restaurants, caterers, and conventions, and delivering it to nearby community centers.

By recovering excess food, FlashFood reduces food insecurity and the environmental impact of food waste.

One in five children in America goes to bed hungry every night, and FlashFood’s home state of Arizona has the third highest rate of child food insecurity in America. Yet one third of the available food in the U.S. is wasted. Our team believes that we can do better. By connecting local caterers, restaurants, and grocers with food collection agencies and hungry Americans, the FlashFood app will reduce food waste and feed the hungry like never before.

The Innovation

The FlashFood mobile application leverages the power of instant communication to bridge the gaps between food service vendors, community organizations, and the hungry. If a vendor has excess food, he or she can instantly tell a local community organization that they wish to donate it. That organization can then 1) coordinate pick up of the food and 2) alert food recipients of an upcoming donation at a nearby community center.

The Donors

The primary application users will be food collection agencies and donors including caterers, conference venues, restaurants, and grocers; each will be able to create an individual profile with distinct capabilities. Prior to an event, an event manager can post a notification of excess food on a digital calendar. An agency will agree to be “on call” for the night and takes responsibility for picking up any donations. The app will automatically provide the driver with the route to the venue, further simplifying the process of food recovery.

The Recipients

FlashFood also instantly connects agencies with the people they serve. Once the agency knows how much food is being donated, it can instantly send out a text message alert to a specific number of community members who live in food insecurity. Randomization of telephone numbers and demand prediction technologies will be used to efficiently provide the most food to the most people. The venue will utilize the app to confirm that the pick-up has been made and that food is on the way. This simple, user-friendly app automates this complicated process by streamlining communication.

Our app can recover food in any community by connecting agencies and donors, while automating the scheduling process and reaching even more people in need. Phoenix is home to the world’s first food bank, and now it is home to the world’s first mobile application dedicated to food recovery.

32 thoughts on “What We Do

  1. Carl Thorsen says:

    Love the idea guys! And congrats with the Imagine Cup prize!

    Do let me know if there are interest to take this internationally, I live in London, and see this could be a great tool here as well!

    Cheers!
    Carl Thorsen
    (ASU grad Fall ’03)

    • FlashFood says:

      Thanks Carl!

      It’s great to have your support, especially since you are a Sundevil! We are looking to take this internationally after piloting in Phoenix. We are actually forming a partnership with Food Donation Connection, an international food recovery organization, and we are always looking for more organizations like FDC to work with. We would be happy to talk more over email, ours is flashfood.epics@gmail.com.

      We look forward to hearing from you!

      Go Devils!

  2. Christie Wang says:

    Hi Flash Food team !
    My name is Christie, I am an editor from Organic Lifestyle Magazine in Taiwan. We are collecting groups of people who are doing social benefit by an sustainable and greener approach. We found your website and are very interested in your story. Is that possibles to have this honor to report your story for our September version?? We will send your some of questions as interviewing and will need you to provide 5~10 photos with high resolution as 300dpi. Look forward to hear from you.

  3. Holly Shields says:

    Hello Flash Food Team,

    What a great idea! I’m a faculty member at Texas State University and would love to talk to you about using your concept as a project for an advertising art direction class. My student’s art direction work just won top honors at this years Creative Summit Conference.

    I’m always looking for interesting ideas for my students to work on. Also, if this matters, I’m the mother of a future Sun Devil. She starts the Industrial Design Program this month!

    Email me if you’re interested. I’ll be in Arizona from the 16th—19th.

    Holly Shields
    hs04@txstate.edu

  4. Bob DeFriest says:

    Hi team,
    My name is Bob DeFriest and I am on the board of Feeding South Florida associated with Feeding America. I am thoroughly impressed with what you are doing and would want to incorporate it here in S Fl… We are the largest food bank in the state serving over 600 agencies in a 4 county area. Please keep me informed of your progress. My E is panachepr@aol.com.
    Keep up the great work,
    Bob

  5. […] FlashFood, a student-run group out of Arizona State, are pioneering a new food recovery app. It’s providing neat model for how technology can connect excess food with those who need it, via willing student volunteers. […]

  6. Chandra says:

    Brilliant! You bring a tear to my eye with such a purposeful idea and much needed action.

    All the best to all of you amazing people!

    Big hugs all around🙂

  7. […] Arizona State University students decided to do something about it. They have created an app called FlashFood that connects those with extra food to those in need of food – before it hits the […]

  8. […] Arizona has the third highest rate of child food insecurity in America,” write the students on the FlashFood blog. “Yet one third of the available food in the U.S. is wasted. Our team believes that we can do […]

  9. Hi there innovators! I work on a food delivery truck that picks up extra food from super markets in SC. Your app could be a great way to optimize this food recovery and distribution back out to the community in need. Are you currently looking to sign on larger food providers who could use the tool to manage their food waste and have it picked up quickly. Some states hold the food provider liable for bad food, but not in SC. If the food is bad, the customer should know it I presume. I never thought i’d say this but SC might actually be able to use this legal distinction and provide food for many more people in need. Other states with similar laws would allow supermarkets to do the same. What are your thoughts about your tools usefulness for this? I’m not in your beta group so i’m not sure where you are with this.

    • FlashFood says:

      Hi Shane,

      We are willing to work with all types of food service companies. If you would like to get us in touch with some supermarkets you work with, we would really appreciate it!
      Feel free to pass along my email to any of your contacts in the industry: jake@flashfoodrecovery.com.

      Thanks!

  10. Atila Lotfi says:

    Congratulations on your accomplishment. On behalf of the entire Project 7 team, thank you for investing your time and energy into this project. We would like to send you a thank you package. Please let me know where we can send it to.

    Thanks again,
    Atila Lotfi
    Project 7

  11. […] highest rate of child food insecurity in America,” write the innovative students on the FlashFood blog. “Yet one third of the available food in the U.S. is wasted. Our team believes that we can do […]

  12. […] edible food. Watch the video below to see the students’ walk-through demonstration of the app.Flashfood TOPICS:Food & Drink, Web & TechnologyTAGS:Arizona State University, flashfood function […]

  13. […] a group of forward-thinking students at Arizona State University have come up with an idea on how to connect some of those who have […]

  14. […] excelente exemplo é um aplicativo criado por um grupo de estudantes do Arizona, o Flash Food, que permite que restaurantes, cafés e lanchonetes locais avisem abrigos e instituições de […]

  15. […] Flashfood is a smart phone app that utilises the power of mobile technology to connect local caterers, restaurants and grocers, to food collection agencies and those suffering from hunger. When the food vendor has left over food, they can instantly alert Flashfood’s local team of volunteer drivers through the mobile app. The food is picked up and delivered to a designated location in the community, usually a shelter, school, church or community centre, which are natural gathering sites for those affected by hunger. A mass text is simultaneously sent out to alert registered food recipients that there is food being handed out at a certain location.  Soup Kitchen. © Bright Nepenthe. […]

  16. […] Arizona State University students decided to do something about it. They have created an app called FlashFood that connects those with extra food to those in need of food – before it hits the […]

  17. […] τους βασιζόμενες στα κοινωνικά μέσα δικτύωσης όπως το FlashFood.  Αυτή η οργάνωση είναι μάλιστα μία από αρκετές πλέον […]

  18. […] 日本でもしばしば問題になる、食べ残し、残飯ですが、海外ではアプリが登場したようですのでご紹介します!アリゾナ州立大学の学生が開発したアプリ「Flashfood」は、レストランやカフェなどの飲食店で余り物がでた時に、NPO団体などへアラートを流してくれるという優れもの。これがあると、NPO団体が余り物を取りに行って、シェルターなどへと持っていくことができます。 […]

  19. […] a more “intelligent” management of their food and blogs like Wasted Food and LoveFoodHateWaste. FlashFood which tries reduce food waste in its area by utilizing the social media is part of an increasing […]

  20. sue downs-loyd says:

    This is an amazing idea. Thanks for putting it together and sharing. I am in a smaller area but would love to learn more about how yo implement Flashfood in this area.

  21. Cindy says:

    Hi FlashFood Team!
    I’m part of a start-up in the healthy fast casual restaurant category and when I found about what you were doing in Arizona, I got very excited about the potential of one day working with you to help feed those in need. Is there a list I can get on to keep abreast of your progress? We’ll be starting in California and expanding from there.
    Cheers to you all!
    Cindy

    • FlashFood says:

      Hi Cindy,

      The best way for you to keep up with our progress is to follow our blog, or like our facebook page. We’re still in the process of getting our website fully up and running, so right now we post our most recent updates here. Additionally, we’re definitely on the look out for restaurant partners, so good luck with your endeavor, and we hope to work with you someday soon!

      –Mary Hannah

  22. Danish Khan says:

    Dear FlashFood
    First of all congratulations !!! I love your cause and devotion. I hail from a country where the food-insecurity is more severe. I would love to collaborate with you if you have plans for India. But, I am bit curious to know how do you maintain the dignity of the receipients (food-insecured) while donating them the food which is actually left over by others.

    • FlashFood says:

      Thanks Danish! Currently we have no plans to expand our operations to India (we want to make sure that FlashFood works well in Phoenix, first), but we really appreciate your enthusiasm. In answer to your question, the food that we are redistributing has not actually been on anyone else’s plate. The food that FlashFood deals with has been safely left in the kitchen of a restaurant or catering company. This food is left over simply because the restaurant prepared too much and had no one to sell the extra food to.

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