Moving America Forward

New “Mobsters” Are Feeding the Hungry and Cutting Food Waste

November 26, 2013
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New “Mobsters” Are Feeding the Hungry and Cutting Food Waste
crop produce
Flickr, Gemma Billings
CropMobsters, that is

Successful farmers must have as much business sense as any corporate executive. As with any business, profits are crucial, but an agricultural surplus isn’t the same as an economic surplus. Instead, when farmers have produce that doesn’t sell, it quickly turns to waste. Nick Papadopoulos, a farmer whose resume includes professional work in conflict resolution, turned that food waste problem into a food access solution. He went online and, like many grocery stores might, advertised his extra items at reduced rates. Gleaners in Sonoma County who seek out food for food pantries and low-income housing residents, responded positively, and a non-profit called CropMobster was born. Papadopoulos put his conflict-resolution spin on the model, seeing his work as resolving the competition between the premium prices that farmers need to charge and the minimal budgets available for solving hunger problems.

 

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