KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Restaurants in Kansas City have more unsold food at the end of the day since they have to rely on take out and delivery due to the spread of COVID-19. Students at UMKC are making sure it doesn’t go to waste.
Student group UMKC Enactus developed a program called FeedKC. It connects restaurants and catering companies who have leftover meals with shelters and food banks in need. Students have been growing and developing the service for three years. The group rolled out a web app Monday.
President of UMKC Enactus, Salem Habte, said there could not be a better time to expand their services than during the shortage caused by the coronavirus.
“Since universities started closing, there’s really a temptation to sit back and go ‘well, we’re going to shut down.’ When really the needs in the community we tackle as an Enactus team don’t disappear at all,” Habte said. “With any world crisis, there are going to be people who face food insecurity, so we feel our app is more necessary than ever.”
Licensed food distributors sign up with FeedKC and enter the type and quantity of food they have to donate. FeedKC then coordinates delivery to a service that can distribute the food to people in need.
Habte said the first donor was a cafeteria on UMKC’s campus. Students have expanded the service to include catering companies and restaurants around Kansas City. She said the app is a part of the solution to a global problem.
“One in seven people go to bed hungry every night or face food insecurity. At the same time, we noticed that 40 percent of all food produced goes to waste. And we thought that those are two problems that shouldn’t exist. Hunger isn’t a supply problem it’s a distribution problem,” Habte said.
FeedKC is a project led entirely by UMKC students. Habte said UMKC Enactus is a group looking to solve social, economic and environmental needs with sustainable solutions.
“We found that we were actually providing something truly unique because this food was very fresh, it was ready to go, complete meals, full nutritional value, for those who really need it,” Habte said.
FeedKC is looking for more donors to supply meals with ready-to-eat, unsold food. The team can be reached at Info.firstname.lastname@example.org.