Farmstead is aiming to lower food waste in the Bay Area by teaming with Food Runners, which delivers excess food to local nonprofits
AI-powered “micro-grocer” Farmstead, which seeks to reinvent the supermarket model with its new technology, has partnered with San Francisco-based Food Runners to help solve the hunger-waste paradox occurring in the Bay Area, where a quarter of the residents struggle with food insecurity.
Food Runners' mission is to deliver to local nonprofits food that would otherwise be thrown away, thereby helping to alleviate hunger while also reducing the footprint made by food waste. Every day, Farmstead donates excess produce, baked goods, dairy products, eggs, fish and poultry from its warehouse through the Food Runner Network to such organizations as St. Francis of Assisi Community, Martin DePorres, Salvation Army Adult Rehab Center, SF Quaker Meeting Food Pantry and St. Vincent DePaul Multi Service Center.
“We are thrilled to work with Food Runners, as its mission to reduce food waste and alleviate hunger completely aligns with Farmstead’s commitment to slash food waste in this country and make fresh, local food accessible to everyone,” said Pradeep Elankumaran, CEO and co-founder of Farmstead, also based in San Francisco. “Food Runners has done an excellent job creating an efficient network that distributes excess food to Bay Area organizations, who in turn get it into the hands of people who need it. We are proud to be working with them.”
Early last year, Farmstead made another advancement in the fight against hunger and food waste in the Bay Area, adding Buy One, Give One, a grocery technology platform that seamlessly connects food vendors, donors and customers who want to contribute to programs that serve hungry children, and helps charities quickly sign up to receive food donations. Customers simply purchase through Farmstead an eligible product that is donated to a local charity within days.
Farmstead's business structure overall is designed to reduce food waste. When it started in 2016, the company designed its fulfillment model to reduce rampant food waste in an industry that generates more than 38 million tons of it each year, with one in every seven truckloads of perishable foods delivered going to waste.
Its software allows customers to quickly select items from a carefully curated assortment of local farm produce and groceries. After the first order, the software’s AI calculates and predicts shoppers’ habits to know exactly how much food to order from local sources daily, weekly, seasonally and annually, thus reducing food waste.