This DoorDash for surplus food aims to cut waste and help solve hunger

For spontaneous pick-ups and drop-offs, a push notification alerts a volunteer who may be nearby, and who may have the time, to run food from one of these spots to a charity or NGO, ranging from large pantries to smaller shelters for the homeless or for abused women. “A truck could never go there,” says Leah Lizarondo, cofounder and CEO of 412 Food Rescue, explaining why this model is nimbler, cheaper, more efficient, and more able to serve all the pockets of the community, than trucks. The app can send a single car to a shelter that houses just five or so people; or it can send multiple cars to a big pantry…

Staff at Metro21 Smart Cities Institute, part of Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Mellon University, helps the organization optimize the app for equity, making sure every food-insecure community is being served at an equal rate. And, in the long term, it’s assisting to gather data so that they can eventually deploy AI to the system for full automation.