Apps to save food from waste

box of produce

Food waste is a big problem – about a third of the world’s annual food production is not consumed, which represents 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions. For Americans, that equates to about $660 in wasted food per person. There are plenty of old-fashioned tricks to reducing food waste, from planning meals to buying imperfect produce. But technology can also play a role. Here are some of the apps that help people reduce food waste in their workplace and home.

Food rescue hero

For people who want to make a difference beyond their own kitchens, Food rescue hero is an application that mobilizes volunteers to transport surplus food to those who can use it. The app matches food donations with appropriate nonprofits, coordinates a last-mile volunteer transportation network, trains volunteers in food security, and tracks data and analytics to measure impact on hunger and the environment. Food Rescue Hero launched in Pittsburgh and works now in 14 cities. If yours isn’t one of them, contact them to find out how to bring Food Rescue Hero to your area.

Food rescue hero is an application that mobilizes volunteers to transport surplus food to those who can use it. Likewise, Food rescue in the United States engages volunteers to transfer fresh food surpluses from local businesses to social service agencies serving food insecure people.

Too good to leave

Too good to leave helps restaurants and grocery stores sell food at a discount instead of throwing it away at closing time. Individuals use the app to reserve food that would otherwise be wasted by local retailers and restaurants for collection at the end of the day. Enjoying the app requires some flexibility from shoppers, but for hungry students and night owls, it can lead to gastronomic savings. Founded in 2016 in Copenhagen, Too Good To Go now operates in 17 countries and frequently adds cities across America.


A bit like Too Good To Go, FoodForAll connects shoppers to nearby restaurants and cafes that offer additional meals. Promising meals are always at least half the regular price, FoodForAll requires diners to wait until the last hour before a venue closes before taking their food order, so it works best for people who eat late or who don’t care. eat leftovers the next day. They currently offer over 200 food sources in New York and Boston, but you can sign up on their homepage to be notified when they expand to your area.


Olio is a sharing app that works much like Too Good To Go and FoodForAll, except connecting neighbors instead of businesses and customers. Whether you can’t keep up with your garden’s bounty or you’ve made too much soup, you can post a photo of your food to share for others to claim. Post in the Free to give away section, or in the Made to Sell section.

Foodprint Group

We notice the food we throw away at home, but the food we don’t eat when we’re away from home is a big part of the food waste problem. As much as 12% of food waste can be generated in the hotel sector. Foodprint Group is a woman-owned company whose apps are used by hotels and other hospitality businesses to reduce food waste. Their resources help foodservice providers conduct waste audits, make better buying decisions, and develop indoor and dining programs to reduce waste.

Restaurant counter food orders
Apps like Too good to leave and FoodForAll help connect shoppers to discounted restaurant fare that would otherwise go to waste, while Foodprint Group helps hotels and other hospitality businesses reduce food waste in the first place.


Better is a black-owned waste management and hunger relief business that grew out of a grassroots initiative to feed food-insecure people in Atlanta. Today, Goodr partners with companies across the country to provide the technology and logistical support needed to track and donate excess food while receiving charitable tax benefits. Their solutions include food pantries and pop-up grocery stores in food-insecure neighborhoods, meal deliveries and snacks for students.

Food rescue in the United States

Food rescue in the United States is another app that engages volunteers to transfer fresh surplus food from local businesses to social service agencies serving food insecure people. Because food never needs to be stored, it helps get perishables and prepared foods to the people who need them most. Volunteers can “adopt” a routine food rescue or sign up whenever they have time to make a delivery. Food rescue in the United States operates in 40 locations in 20 states and the District of Columbia. If they haven’t come to your area yet, visit their Launch a site page to learn how to bring Food Rescue US to your community.

save the food

If you want to get your house in order before you start volunteering, save the food has a suite of web tools to help you. The Guest-imator helps you estimate how much food to prepare for a gathering; Meal Prep Mate helps you create your shopping list and meal plans; the interactive storage guide contains encyclopedic knowledge on how best to store food, how long it should stay there, and even how to use it if it’s a little past its prime.

Feature Image: szmuli –