This Woman Created an App to End Hunger in America


MAKERS brings us this story of Komal Ahmad, who was astounded by the dichotomy between those who go hungry and the excess food businesses throw out every day. She founded Copia as a way to make it easier for companies to share extra food. The app "technology enables businesses to receive a tax write-off and a reduction in disposal costs for providing meals to communities in need," according to the company's website.Click through to read more. - "It shouldn't be this hard to do the right thing."

That's what Komal Ahmad said after offering to buy lunch for a homeless veteran while she was an undergraduate at University of California Berkeley. The encounter allowed her to compare two stark realities: just across the street the university was throwing away thousands of pounds of food while the veteran sitting across from her was having his first meal in three days.

What became a mission to feed the hungry with the university’s leftovers blossomed into an app to end hunger in America.

Today, Ahmad is the founder and CEO of Copia, an app that she describes as "an Uber for food-recovery," matching non-profits serving veterans, children, women, and those in need to companies with leftover gourmet food. This past Super Bowl weekend, Copia organized numerous pickups of food throughout the San Francisco Bay Area that ended up feeding more than 41,000 people.

"It is the sexiest thing that you could solve instantly," she said in an interview later adding, "We use technology to optimize every other portion of our life, why can't we use it to optimize the most unnecessary problem of our time?"

Read more here.