Agriculture for Impact recently found out about a new online platform and campaign, Transfernation, aiming to tackle hunger through food re-distribution. Here one of their founders, Samir Goel, talks about why we need to shift our thinking about food to tackle hunger, an issue that should be a problem of the past.
Hunger is an issue that is talked about constantly: at conferences and congregations, by the average farmer to senior world leaders. In the earlier days of mankind, well before industrialization and the rise of mass food production, this problem made logical sense. The challenge of getting enough food to feed ones family let alone society was a day-to-day struggle for many. Given the massive strides we have made in technology and education since; hunger should be a thing of the past. The fact of the matter is that we produce more than enough food to feed significantly more people than the entire world’s population.
If there is enough food for everyone why are we faced with widespread hunger and disparity in terms of access to food? We believe the problem lies in our own production system and cultural norms, problems that we can fix right now. Imagine if we could do that: a world in which people no longer go hungry. Perhaps hunger will never be entirely eliminated but it could very well become an afterthought, secondary to some of the other issues we face. In fact if just in America we stopped wasting the estimated forty percent of food produced that goes to waste each year we would be able to feed the entire food insecure population of America and then some. That’s what we are aiming to do here at Transfernation. Transfernation was co-founded in autumn 2013 by Hannah Dehradunwala and myself during our sophomore year of college. Transfernation aims to connect corporations and social institutions so that all the extra food from corporate events can go to homeless shelters and soup kitchens to help those in need. We are currently developing our online platform, which will act as a connector by providing corporations and social institutions with the necessary information to schedule food pick-ups to redistribute corporate extra to where it is needed. Eventually we aspire to become the person-to-person food-sharing network, essentially a “Craigslist for food”.
You might be wondering how this will contribute to ending hunger. Our launch of Transfernation isn’t the end but rather a first step. We are launching Transfernation in New York City where the infrastructure lends itself to easy transportation and preservation of food. However, that’s not where this stops: we hope to go from New York City to other large cities around America and the world. While we are starting off in America we are certainly not limiting ourselves to its borders, in fact we currently have all the necessary pieces in place for a pilot launch in Pakistan. Corporate waste is a huge component of global waste but so is individual household waste. By creating a platform for people to share their extra with those around them we can all cut down on the amount of food we throw away and save ourselves time, money and help reduce landfill. It’s a win for everyone. But, at its heart, Transfernation is a cultural movement, one that aims to change the way we think about our food consumption. It is this shift in our value system that will eventually lead to ending food insecurity in NYC, in America, and throughout the world. In order for a movement like Transfernation to be successful we need the support of everyone as we work towards creating the cultural revolution we need to end hunger.
We have come a long way from our idea phase and are almost at the implementation stage of our start-up. We have secured some start-up funding by winning the Resolution Challenge at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference which we used to launch and develop our website. In the meantime we have worked on our pilot launch both in NYC and in Pakistan and have worked to develop valuable partnerships with both social and corporate institution. Recently we launched an Indiegogo Campaign with a goal of raising US$7,500 in order to secure the funding we need to develop our app and begin creating real impact. You can check out our campaign here. Join the cultural movement and take the time to re-evaluate your consumption habits. Everyone has important role to play in creating real social change.
Many thanks for reading everyone!
Link to our Indiegogo: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/transfernation/x/7907013
Link to our Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/projectTransfernation
Link to our Twitter: https://twitter.com/solvehungernow