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Craigslist Enlisted to Fight Food Waste in NYC

Well what do ya’ know. Craigslist isn’t just a place to find cheap used furniture. One New York City councilman is turning to the classified-style site for inspiration to help fight New York City’s food waste problem.

Related: The Real Hunger Games: How Latinos are Waging War on Food Deserts

NYC sends four million tons of waste to landfills every year and about a third of that is food waste, which causes all sorts of problems from financial to environmental. And rescuing still-good food from the landfill could solve one big problem: about 16 percent of New Yorkers don’t have reliable access to healthy food.

So NY Councilman Rafael Espinal is putting forth a bill to start a Craigslist-like site that would let restaurants, supermarkets, bodegas (really anyone who has food to give) connect with groups who help feed underserved populations.

There are already a few groups that help do this, like City Harvest, the world’s first food-rescue program, which has saved hundreds of millions of pounds of food, and tech start ups that work like Uber, delivering food to shelters.

But, according to Espinal, “There’s no clear way to get that food [private organizations are] dumping to organizations so they can provide it to hungry New Yorkers.”

The site would work exactly like Craigslist: parties could post about food and where they are and those who are interested could reach out for more info. Once it’s up and running, Espinal expects the city would step back and let a third party run it.

Fingers crossed this bill goes the distance but if it doesn’t, hey Craigslist, we got an idea for you. 

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