A 26 year old Californian woman, Komal Ahmad, developed an app that feeds more than 600,000 people since the initiation of Copia in 2012. A homeless man approached her for money to buy food, instead she invited him for lunch together. While they were eating, the man told Ahmad that he was a soldier who recently returned from Iraq and was going through a hard time in his life so he had to ask for money to buy food.
That is when the thought of feeding the hungry came to Komal’s mind. She thought, “This is the dumbest problem – Hunger”. She then started an on-campus food recovery program and gave it to organizations who helped the homeless and hungry.
One day, the dinning hall manager called her and told her that there were 500 leftover sandwiches from an event that very less people came to. So Komal, loaded all the sandwiches in her car and called all the organizations who she used to deliver the leftover food too. Most of them said they did not need any more leftover food to be distributed and could only transfer 15 of those sandwiches.
She got so frustrated with the fact that she has food, but she’s not able to take them to people who need them and they will just be a waste overall the next day, that the idea of Copia App came to her mind.
When a restaurant or other organization has food left over, they open the Copia App in their phone, set the pickup location, and fill in how much food is available. Then they request pickup. A Copia-hired driver shows up at their door, receives the food and delivers it to the nearest food bank that the app’s algorithim has determined is nearest and most in need.
The Copia program has transferred food from more than 250 companies to feed over 700,000 people. That amounted to more than 800,000 pounds of food that otherwise would have been thrown in the trash. For one of the new company’s biggest jobs this past year, Copia transferred 14 tons of untouched, high-end food left uneaten from Superbowl 50 events and transferred it to 23,000 people.
Unfortunately this program is only running in 8 cities of America. Do you think we need this app in India too? If this kind of program starts running in India, then we’d be able to feed so many poor and homeless people in few days!!