Eat4Less and Stop Food Waste

Our platform allows restaurants to sell perfectly good unused food to the community at a much cheaper price; saving the food waste.

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Please confirm you meet the following criteria

  • We have submitted the supplemental form linked in the description above
  • We are aged between 14 - 20 as of February 11, 2021
  • We live in the United States or its territories (Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa)
  • We are not employed by, or directly related (parents or siblings) to a current General Motors (GM) or Ashoka employee
  • We have been working on this project for at least three months
  • We consent to Ashoka and/or GM featuring our work on their website, social media, and in other materials regarding this Challenge using the information in our application
  • We confirm we have the rights to use and share any content uploaded on this entry form

Website or social media url(s) (optional):

Website: https://eats4less.com/ Download on iTune: https://apps.apple.com/in/app/eat4less/id1511671867

Date You Started Your Project

01/05/2018 - Built the prototype. 06/30/2018 - Prototype and concept was validated by winning Technovation competition - San Francisco, Bay Area Finalist. 06/30/2018 - 12/31/2020 - Launched LLC, Learned Mobile App building, solidified the concept and designs and built the mobile App. 01/05/2021 - Launched in the iTune App store.

Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Food waste is a global issue declared by United Nations Collectively, the world wastes 2.7 trillion pounds of perfectly good food annually. The food that is wasted is enough to feed 2 billion people. A great deal of this waste originates from cafes and restaurants. That level of excess food waste is harmful to the environment, because it means we’re expanding CO2 and degrading farmland to produce the food we’re not even eating.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

Eat4Less connects users with local restaurants that want to sell perfectly good excessed and unused food at a much cheaper price. Once a customer signs up, can browse the list of restaurants and select a type of food to order from and Pay. Then pick up the food from the restaurant at designated time. This approach saves the food which otherwise would have been thrown away by restaurant owner as per FDA rules. In future, the App will send email notification to the customer when restaurants of their choice have a deal for his favorite food. This app is following the “UN’s Sustainable Development Goal #12 to reduce the food waste. Restaurant owners loved our idea and so did our friends and neighbors. Restaurant owners expressed how much it hurt to let the food go to waste everyday! They expected to sell the food that they took time and passion in preparation. We visited some restaurants in our neighborhood cities to see the demand of our app, Castro Valley, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore. 83% of the restaurants we interviewed, showed interest and liked the concept of our app.

3. Please tell us how you are using science, technology, engineering or math to address your environmental challenge.

Learned technology - mobile app design and development using xcode, website development, and paypal integration for payment.

4. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Since a very young age, I’ve been hearing about malnourished and underfed people all around the world. Knowing that there are so many people going hungry every day wrenches my heartstrings and it’s an issue that I want nothing more than to be fixed, but obviously a problem of this magnitude can’t be solved in an instant. It was always on the back of my mind, but I wasn’t even able to figure out how to start approaching it. An idea finally came to me after a trip to Chipotle right before their closing time. I noticed that they had a lot of leftover food in their serving bins and asked what would happen to that food after they closed. Their answer, although somewhat expected, was still shocking; they were going to throw it away. This struck a chord in me, and I decided to do some research, came up with the idea for Eat4Less shortly after, entered and won the competition with my friend.

5. Video (Keep it simple, your phone on selfie-mode is great): Please upload a 1-minute video to YouTube that answers the following “I am stepping up to be a Changemaker because...”

Attached are two videos. 1. First one is a demo of the prototype we built. 2. Second one is a pitch, explaining the global issue of food waste, proposed solution and the prototype.

6. Please highlight the key activities you have carried out to bring your project to life.

01/05/2018 - 06/30/2018 - Studied the issue in depth, brainstormed solution, performed market research, Built the prototype. 06/30/2018 - Prototype and concept was validated by winning Technovation competition - San Francisco, Bay Area Finalist. 06/30/2018 - 12/31/2020 - Launched LLC, Learned Mobile App building, solidified the concept and designs and built the mobile App. 01/05/2021 - Launched in the iTune App store.

7. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Eat4less will send notification to the customers when there is a deal on their favorite food at a favorite restaurant, user will come and pick up the food. This is much different than other apps like UberEats or Grubhub, that sell food at a premium price and charge delivery fees which is about additional 5-10%. Eat4less will contribute 1% of each customer transaction to charity. We will save the food waste and save money for the customer.

8. Impact: In the last three months, please detail the impact your project has made.

Restaurant owners loved our idea and so did our friends and neighbors. Restaurant owners expressed how much it hurt to let the food go to waste everyday! They expected to sell the food that they took time and passion in preparation. We visited some restaurants in our neighborhood cities to see the demand of our app, Castro Valley, Dublin, Pleasanton, and Livermore. 83% of the restaurants we interviewed, showed interest and liked the concept of our app. The App is in the App store now. Due to COVID, we can not go door to door for each restaurant like we did in past while building the prototype. We have bought Phone numbers and email address data from Exact Data and calling restaurants to sign up on the App.

9. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Our vision is that any one in the whole wide world can use the App and save food. In future, we envision expanding to grocery stores and vending machines as well. Although the first version of the App is in the market, its only on iOS. We need to develop in Android. We want to run email campaign across all the contacts we bought, and reach out to people on Social media but first we need few restaurants to sign up and few customers. Once we pass this stage, our solution will be fully validated. and when many restaurants and customer use the App, it will help stopping the food waste.

10. Please share how you have influenced other young people to get involved in your project and/or care about environmental sustainability.

I am in Junior year of high school currently. Since middle school, I have participated in Robotics, Science Olympiad and Technovation. This year, I have been selected as Ambassador with Technovation Girls, a non-profit dedicated to inspiring girls (age 12-18) in technology and entrepreneurship. In the program, girls work in teams to develop mobile apps, conduct market research, write business plans, and create a “pitch” for funding. I am mentoring these teams.

11. How would you partner with other changemakers to make a difference?

Partner with likeminded changemakers to develop social media strategy and reach out to as many people as possible, educate people to solve the food waste. Explain the issue and the impact their decisions make. Show them benefits to the earth, to the poor, to their own pockets and future generations.

12. How would you engage others who have never heard about your project to get their buy-in?

We can create podcast, explaining the global food waste issue and our proposed solution. Reach out to as many people possible on social media and our own neighborhood, walk them through App, and explain the benefits to the earth, to the poor, to their own pockets and future generations.

13. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Family support

14. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you? You’ll be able to select only one option.

  • Public Relations

Are you employed, or directly related (grand-parents, parents, sibling) to a GM or Ashoka employee?

  • No

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Search engine
  • Email

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Team

I really love this idea. The research put into this shows a great deal of time was put into it. Can’t wait to see what this becomes of in the future.

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