App to help feed homeless earns Iseult Time accolade

Feeding the homeless population of Ireland is a daunting task, but it’s all in a day’s work for social entrepreneur Iseult Ward who has just been named as one of Time magazine’s ‘Next Generation Leaders’.

Earlier this week her company FoodCloud, which connects businesses with charities, won a Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award and a €140,000 investment.

She said: “From a personal perspective it’s pretty overwhelming, but it’s brilliant to get so much recognition for the team. The more publicity we get, the more recognition, and the easier it is to create links with charities if maybe they’ve already heard of us.”

Together with co-founder Aoibheann O’Brien, she has created an app to help feed hundreds of thousands of meals to homeless people nationwide.

Businesses such as restaurants and supermarkets with excess food can use the app to upload details of the food they are willing to donate.

Local charities then receive a notification of the donation and can pick it up to distribute it to the hungry and homeless.

Iseult and Aoibheann came up with the idea while studying at Trinity College Dublin when they decided to find out what happened to all the unwanted food from stores across Ireland.

Around 1m tonnes of food was going to waste each year with almost nobody connecting those outlets with charities needing food for the homeless or people living in poverty.

Since they launched the app a year ago, more than 100 businesses have been connected with 220 charities in 18 counties across Ireland. More than a tonne of food is shifted via the app every day. Almost 148 tonnes has been moved so far — enough to make 325,000 meals.

In July, Foodcloud entered a national partnership with Tesco, one of the first companies to get on board.

At the end of the month, FoodCloud is rolling out a new initiative using an electric car sponsored by the ESB. The car will be used to ferry food from businesses to charities.

foodcloud.ie


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