Two new programs have been created by Google which makes it easy for food suppliers, producers, and commercial kitchens to direct unneeded food to food banks that need it.
Referred to as Project Delta, the machine learning programs make use of different variables and calculations, the things it would take a dedicated team of organizers to manage, to ensure the food is going where it is needed most, where it’s most likely to get eaten, and other priorities.
Sports commentators would describe food waste as “a good problem to have,” because it means there’s more than enough to go round. The issue here is that this excess food doesn’t get to those that really need it – the hungry people.
The issues mostly comes from the supply chain: through the interaction of buyers, trying to imagine how many units they need, and sellers who are trying to imagine how many they can sell.
Producers, like sellers, try and make as much as they think they can find buyers for, while the final stage owner of food—supermarkets, restaurants, or hotels, often have too many processes to worry about to consider how best to send food further down the line.
The efficient distribution of food is an extremely difficult job to take on all the way down the supply chain, and so it’s perhaps no surprise that 30-40% of food in the U.S. is wasted.
Adele Peters for Fast Company, covering the Google innovation said:
There’s no simple way for food suppliers to let food banks know what they have available, or for food banks or pantries to communicate what they need.Adele Peters
The working out of this idea is being done at a Google offshoot called X, which styles itself as “The Moonshot Factory.” It aims at offering super innovative solutions to ensure the world is a better place.