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New app fighting food waste in San Diego, helping rescue food from restaurants

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 21:13:42-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A new technology platform launched this week is making it easier for restaurants, hotels, and caterers to donate food to those facing hunger in San Diego County.

The new platform, MealConnect, was unveiled by Feeding San Diego. CEO Vince Hall says the free platform will help rescue the more than 14 million pounds of food going into San Diego landfills every year.

"This is an issue that is compelling, it is serious, and it is urgent because hunger is debilitating," said Hall.

Restaurants and food service providers use the MealConnect app to submit a food donation. It's then picked up by a volunteer and delivered to a nearby charity.

Nancy Kane is one of the first San Diego volunteers to take part in the program.

"It's flexible, it's not that hard to do, I can do it on my own time. I love it; it's one more thing I can do to make a difference," said Kane.

Volunteers receive training and equipment to ensure food is delivered safely. They can choose their delivery hours and can accept or decline requests via text message.

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.

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.