Don't let Refused Deliveries Slow you down

Food Cowboy uses mobile technology to safely route surplus food from wholesalers and restaurants to food banks and soup kitchens instead of landfills.

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Why and How We Can Change Things

Consumer food waste is largely behavioral but supply chain waste comes down to economics: Food is expensive to move. If it can’t be sold, it doesn’t make sense to preserve or transport it.

That is why wholesalers and distributors throw away thousands of tons of wholesome but blemished produce every day – not just because you and I won’t buy it, but because they can’t find charities to donate to in time. Why not?

The food supply chain is longer and more technologically interconnected than ever before. But most food charities haven’t progressed beyond spreadsheets and e-mail – their technology capacity is limited. Thus, the terrible irony of food companies paying to have nutritious fruits and vegetables hauled away to landfills, while charities just a few miles away pay good money to purchase the same foods.

Food Cowboy helps charities look and act more like supply chain companies. It can help truckers and other donors search for them by location, operating hours, storage capacity and even loading dock type. It can also handle scheduling and communications. Transfers happen efficiently and charitable donation paperwork is streamlined. Right now, the paperwork’s not worth the hassle.

There’s no getting around the fact that we are wasteful – yet we are also caring and innovative. In the past, we lacked both the technology and the understanding to do more than just talk about hunger and waste, but now we have real solutions. So let’s partner up to feed our neighbors and protect the environment.

Meet the Team

Our company is comprised of passionate people from many different industries and areas. It is through their hard work and passions that we are moving one step closer to preventing food waste

Roger Gordon, JD, MBA, is an experienced entrepreneur who has been involved in numerous ventures that overlap the public and private sectors. In 2014, Fast Company named him to its list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business. He has worked as a management consultant in London and Sydney and is the founder of the company that broke the bank monopoly on operating ATMs in the United Kingdom.

Roger has served on Human Rights Watch’s California Committee North and on the boards of Big Brothers/Big Sisters of San Francisco and the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners. He holds an MBA from Kellogg and a law degree from Georgetown. While in law school, he clerked for future White House Domestic Policy Advisor Melody Barnes at the Center for American Progress, the House Judiciary Committee and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Barbara Cohen, Ph.D., MPH, a public health and nutrition expert, has addressed issues of hunger, food insecurity, nutrition, and the relationship between food and health outcomes, at both national and local levels. She was part of a small group of academic and policy leaders who worked to move the national discussion from one of hunger to food security and developed measures now used on national and international population- based surveys.

Barbara is also the author of the USDA’s Community Food Security Assessment Toolkit. Through this and other work she has trained community leaders in how to use basic evaluation tools to develop innovative programs to improve their local communities. She received her MPH from the School of Public Health at UNC Chapel Hill and her Ph.D. from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.

Richard Gordon, has over 25 years of experience as a trucking entrepreneur instructor-trainer, and terminal manager. He transported fresh produce almost exclusively for 16 years and has been called upon by FEMA to respond to every hurricane disaster since 1992. He spent six months on the Gulf Coast transporting humanitarian and oil field supplies after Hurricane Katrina and both he and Roger responded to Hurricane Sandy. Over the years, they have rescued many tons of fresh produce.

Jodessiah Sumpter, MBA is an experienced enterprise level software developer, technology innovator, published author and serial entrepreneur. He has won numerous awards in software and mobile application development, including from Home Depot, AT&T and SONY. He holds an MBA with a concentration in Information Technology from the University of Buffalo and a post masters degree in Marketing from the University of Dayton.

SOLUTIONS FOR ALL

SUPPLY CHAIN

The warehouse manager just told you not to take that last pallet of tomatoes off the truck – too ripe he says. So you post them on Food Cowboy, saying you’re leaving for Abilene at 3 AM. Then you crawl in back and go to sleep. When you wake up you’ve got messages from three food banks along the way offering to take the tomatoes off your hands. One will even meet you at a truckstop and throw in a coupon for a free breakfast. We have a winner! Both you and the shipper will be credited with the donation.
Nobody likes wasting food. But when a delivery get rejected, it’s a whole lot easier to find a dumpster than a food bank – especially in the middle of night hundreds of miles from home. Food Cowboy makes donating refused deliveries easy. It works just like those apps that help you find restaurants or that call you a taxi when you don’t even know where you are.

Download the Food Cowboy app, create a donation alert with what you need to get off your truck and where you’re headed and it will get sent to a charity close-by or along your route. If charities aren’t able to take your donation, we’ll steer you to a composter or a farmer. Either way, the food won’t end up in a landfill and you’ll be back on the road ASAP. Plus, we’ll send you the paperwork so the grower can claim valuable tax benefits.

RETAILERS

It’s Thursday afternoon and you’re packing up produce you know you can’t use. When you’re through, you open the Food Cowboy app on your phone and hit the blue “Donate Food” button. You’ve got lettuce, broccoli, apples and tomatoes so you select “Mixed” on the Food Type menu and under Quantity you enter “4 cases”.

You are expecting a big delivery tomorrow morning so you set a six-hour pickup window beginning immediately. After looking over the produce once more you tick the “Apparently Wholesome” box and then tap “Submit”.
Wasting food is something that no one likes to do. Yet consumers’ expectations and business demands result in billions of pounds of food being thrown out by restaurants and supermarkets every year -- more than enough to significantly reduce hunger in their communities. Unfortunately, finding safe and reliable ways to transfer wholesome, surplus food to community charities hasn’t been easy.

Food Cowboy’s mobile app and online donation system helps retailers and charities develop reliable rescue systems.  The mobile app allows retailers and charities to send alerts, schedule pickups and transmit tax donation receipts.  Special tools are even available for event hosts to use to ensure that local rescue groups pickup unserved prepared food after large catered events.

CHARITIES

It’s past midnight and you can’t sleep. Christmas was weeks ago and donations have dried up but you still have families to feed. Then, you get an alert from a trucker 50 miles away saying she just got stuck with a thousand pounds of tomatoes that were rejected by a distributor because they weren’t ripe enough. They are in 90 RPCs on three blue pallets. That’s worth $24 to you – about what it will cost to have someone come in early to meet the truck. You smile and click “Accept.”
Americans are growing increasingly concerned about food waste and in response food companies are becoming less wasteful. That’s good news for the environment but bad news for food banks that rely on donations of surplus food. Food Cowboy has the answer and in partnership with reusable container and pallet companies, can now not only offer to help route food donations, but also to pay food banks that accept them.

Food companies can use Food Cowboy to send alerts to food banks about the surplus food they have to donate as well as the number and type of each RPC and pallet. Food banks that accept donations and store these reusable assets for pickup by the RPC and pallet companies that own them, will receive a small payment from Food Cowboy—like a deposit on a glass bottle.

MEDIA

Yale Environment 360

The Big Waste: Why Do We Throw Away So Much Food?

CNBC Nightly Business Report

Start-up aims to fix this $165 billion problem: Food waste

Free Enterprise

CAN MOBILE TECHNOLOGY END FOOD WASTE?