By Katrice L. Mines
Goodr’s objective is precise: Reduce waste. Save money. Do good. It’s a mission driven to impact the statistics that one in seven people go to bed hungry and that a whopping 72 billion pounds of food are wasted in the United States each year. These are the startling realities that moved Goodr CEO Jasmine Crowe, who says she has had friends that she could have counted in those numbers, to do something good; no pun intended.
Goodr is a sustainable waste management platform that leverages technology to combat hunger. The technology company provides an end-to-end solution for businesses to improve their bottom line by redirecting their food waste to tax savings. Its technology provides a secure ledger that follows surplus food from pick-up to donation, delivering a no-nonsense checks and balances that is incorruptible and secure.
“I was fed up,” Crowe admits of what propelled her forward is this undertaking. “I saw thousands of people struggling with hunger and wanted to do more. When I saw the amount of good food going to waste in this country, I was blown away. I saw two problems that could solve each other and I set out to do the work.”
Asked if this was the career path Crowe foresaw for herself, she explains, “Yes and No. Yes, because I always knew my life would be one of service. It came naturally to me and I always wanted to help people. No, because I never thought I would be a CEO of a tech start-up. I knew nothing about technology, but I did know that it could change the world so it was worth a shot.”
Through its platform, mobile and Web apps make it possible for clients to redirect their surplus food to organizations that feed people that are food insecure. Non-profit organizations can register to be the recipients.
In the nearly five years since her company’s founding, Goodr has served more than 80,000 meals — including 2,000-plus special holiday meals around the country.
“During the holidays, hunger really spikes,” Crowe says. “People’s gas bills are starting to go up, so their budgets are depleting and they have a huge need for food.”
What’s Goodr’s answer to this crisis during those times? An initiative called Kids Give Back where children come in to volunteer and help serve individuals in special pop-up restaurants by taking orders and serving the three to five-course meals to diners.
When Crowe founded Goodr, she and her best friend — a chef — would build menus around what was on sale in the grocery store. Eventually, however, her research on food waste led her to restaurants for donations. Innovative, by itself, but she didn’t stop there. By developing a web-based and app dashboard, Goodr allows businesses to track and account for their donations as well as the ability to measure their community impact, see their real-time tax savings and analyze waste trends. “Our process makes sure companies capture the maximum value of their food donations.”
Five years from now, Crowe sees the Atlanta-based tech company in multiple cities across the nation. The company’s goal is to reduce food waste in this country by 15 percent, which would mean the company has organized the dissemination of enough food to feed 25 million people.
Hunger is not a scarcity issue, according to Crowe. It’s a logistics issue, and clearly nothing that a bit of ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit couldn’t remedy. Feed more. Waste less. “The name Goodr came from two things, one being a Do-Goodr (doing good things). Also the idea was to rescue “Good” food. The “r” at the end stood for rescue.” AT