Feeding San Diego is proud to announce the launch of MealConnectTM in San Diego County, a free and innovative technology platform that connects surplus food from restaurants and other food service providers to Feeding San Diego’s volunteer drivers and community partners. Developed by Feeding America, MealConnect is an exciting new way for the community to divert good food from going to waste and increase the availability of nutritious food for the one in eight people facing hunger in San Diego County. Unlike other food rescue apps, MealConnect is free of charge for food donors.
MealConnect enables food donors of all sizes, such as hotels, meeting and event planners restaurants, farmers market vendors, and convenience stores to post surplus food to the system. Examples of this could be extra food from a caterer, a small load of meat from a butcher, or a box of tomatoes from a farmers market. An algorithm matches donations to the best suited trained volunteer driver and agency partner to quickly pick up and distribute the donation.
MealConnect is available to food donors from any smartphone, tablet, or computer to make an immediate impact in the communities where they operate. MealConnect is free for all users and all donations are tax-deductible. Feeding San Diego maintains stringent food-safety standards to ensure food is handled safely by volunteers and partners.
Feeding San Diego received a $51,500 grant from the Walmart Foundation to support the launch of MealConnect in San Diego County. In partnership with Feeding America, MealConnect is available in seven other markets across the United States, including: Lexington, Kentucky; Washington, D.C.; Baltimore, Maryland; St. Paul, Minnesota; Davenport, Iowa; San Antonio, Texas; and Austin, Texas.
“The message for San Diego restaurants and other food providers is clear,” said Vince Hall. “Feeding San Diego is your partner in hunger relief. We are minimizing waste and working to ensure that every person has enough nutritious food to eat.”
Feeding San Diego provides more than 26 million meals to people in need each year and 97 percent of the food distributed is rescued. Now with MealConnect, Feeding San Diego is well poised to continue ending hunger and increasing food rescue by engaging local restaurants and businesses in a simple, scalable solution.