Food waste app aims to link farmers and charities

An app that aims to tackle food waste by linking the food industry with charity groups will be the first recipient of funding under a new Government program.

FoodCloud apparently works directly with farmers and food businesses to gather information regarding surplus food. The app then connects with local charities to let them know that food is available.

The group has three hubs around the country – Galway, Dublin and Cork – from where it distributes tonnes of food every year to charities nationwide – which would otherwise be thrown away.

According to the FoodCloud website, one million tonnes of food are thrown out by Irish businesses and consumers every year.

The funding will allow the organisation to future-proof its technology and to continue building over the next two years.

FoodCloud’s funding comes from a new Government growth initiative under Social Innovation Fund Ireland, which is being supported by AIB and the Dormant Accounts Fund at the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Sean Canny, Minister of State at the department, welcomed the selection of FoodCloud, saying: “FoodCloud is a wonderful example of the impact of social enterprise in Ireland.

A simple concept to match retailers with surplus food and charities has seen some 40 million meals distributed to date.

“Food donations provide essential support to charities by enabling them to save money on their food bills, in some instances up to 80%, which they instead can redirect to improving their services to the people they support,” added Minister Canny.

The Minster also said that he looks forward to matching the bank’s funding of the project, which will be investing €500,000 in FoodCloud per year.

Social Innovation Fund Ireland was set up in 2014 to assist the country’s up-and-coming social innovations.