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Nonprofit creates app to prevent food waste

Eat Greater Des Moines hopes the app will reduce food waste by alerting volunteers to pick up and drop off food donations in a timely manner.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Since its inception, Eat Greater Des Moines has committed itself to a simple goal: feed the hungry. Now, the organization is using technology to further achieve that goal. 

The local nonprofit recently launched a new food rescue app

Aubrey Alvarez, co-founder and executive director of Eat Greater Des Moines, said the app has been a work in progress for a few years. 

The way the app works is simple. To start off, Eat Greater Des Moines inputs information about a donation they received into their app and alert volunteers who are available.

This lets potential volunteers know a donation is ready to be picked up and dropped off at another organization. 

"This app really makes it simple for someone," Alvarez said. "They can hop on the app, see a rescue [and] pick it up. Everything usually takes, start to finish, less than an hour."

Alvarez said the purpose of this app is to help prevent food waste. It does this by allowing others who volunteer with the group to know when there is something that needs to be picked up, and prevents the foods which don't typically have a long shelf life from expiring before being used. 

She said getting to food in a timely manner can be challenging with a smaller team and has presented problems in the past.

Alvarez also noted with more people and organizations in need of food right now, getting enough volunteers to help out is important.

"I just did a food rescue drop-off at one of our fridges over the weekend, and there were 15 people waiting for me to get this food," Alvarez said.

She also noted the app is user-friendly and can send alerts to those looking to help out.

 "It will notify you when there are food rescue opportunities within your area," Alvarez said. 

The Food Rescue App can be found in the Apple App Store or Google Play by searching Eat Greater Des Moines.

To find out other ways to help Eat Greater Des Moines, click here.

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