Carnegie Mellon University

photo of food transfer

Using Technology to Help People Facing Food Insecurity

Food Rescue Hero is an application that explands the work of 412 Food Rescue, a Pittsburgh start-up co-founded by CMU alumna Leah Lizarondo, to reduce food waste and help solve hunger. The app was selected as a winner of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Awards and is looking to be in 100 cities by 2030.

Since 2015, 412 Food Rescue has been redirecting excess food to hungry people. Its work has been powered by volunteers, who deliver food from restaurants and grocery stores to various charities and NGOs that serve people facing food insecurity, operating on the principle that everyone has a right to healthy food.

Staff at Metro21 Smart Cities Institute, part of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, helps the organization optimize the app for equity, making sure every food-insecure community is being served at an equal rate. And, in the long term, it’s assisting to gather data so that they can eventually deploy AI to the system for full automation.

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