VSAG Feature: CropMobster – Social Media for Social Awareness

Two big restaurant industry topics have come together in a new platform: CropMobster™ is a California-based, grassroots organization that blends preventing food waste and using social media to your advantage.

Their mission is simple: connect farmers, ranchers, restaurants/food producers (or anyone with excess food willing to ask for a donation in return, offer a deal or give it away as opposed to tossing it) with area hunger relief organizations and local citizens in need.

The folks at CropMobster were spurned to create this food and hunger cycle connection, not only to generate a positive impact for local communities and promote sustainability by reusing, donating, and selling mainly fruits and vegetables before they spoil, but also because they know the statistics on just how much food is wasted each year as by products of restaurants and food service operations.

According to the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), annually in the U.S.:

  • 40% of food is wasted (that’s over 20 pounds of food per person every month)
  • translating to the equivalent monetary loss of $165 billion

Through instant web/email alerts of available surplus in participating areas, sites such as CropMobster are able to have an immediate impact on transforming food waste into affordable food value with the assistance of volunteers and others prompted into action … all in the name of coming together to support local farmers and feed the hungry.

And CropMobster has found that the benefits are a win-win; not only are farmers often willing to donate foods they have grown and harvested to ensure they’re eaten, but the generosity is generally paid back in new business, customers, and/or partners for those farmers and producers.

Here’s a CropMobster how-it-works graphic for a quick snapshot of the process, which is a great sustainability idea worth exploring for your restaurant (as their business plan is sure to evolve into other areas of California and beyond).

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CropMobster inspires us not only because of their mission of sustainability and feeding the hungry, but also because they are all about supply + demand … and in our industry, that’s everything. 

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