Komal Ahmad is from Pakistan. Like most other immigrant families in US, bringing food on the table was a daily struggle for her parents. She remembers how her father used to urge them to finish their food. Even while growing up, she did her bit to never waste food, only to realize that the amount of food wasted in America is more than enough to fill a football stadium to its brim, on an everyday basis.
But personal experiences trigger action more that statistics do. According to Independent, she met a homeless man near her college campus while she was studying at the University of California, in Berkeley. She took him out for lunch, where, as they ate, he told her how he was a soldier in the Iraq war, and had run into a rough patch. After this experience which ‘blew her mind’, she started an initiative in her college which allowed the dining hall to donate any excess food to local homeless shelters.
Taking this model and implementing this on a larger scale, She today runs a not-for-profit service called Feeding Forward. She told New York’s Daily News how excess food-wastage “is literally the world’s dumbest problem.” They have created an app which allows companies and event planners to donate their surplus food to those in need within their area – with the click of a button. Feeding Forward drivers collect the leftovers, taking them to where they are needed the most.
Actively solving the problem of both hunger and food wastage in the city, Feeding Forward currently serves those in the San Francisco area, and has managed to feed over 575,000 homeless people in the city. In a story featured on the CNET news website, Ahmad said, “We are trying to make the Bay Area a case study to say ‘Hey, if it works here, it can work anywhere.'”