Skip to main content

North Hills Monthly

412 Food Rescue's App Wins Fast Company's World Changing Ideas Award

May 28, 2020 11:18PM ● By North Hills Monthly magazine

412 Food Rescue has been recognized with one of the most prestigious global media recognitions—as a winner of Fast Company’s 2020 World Changing Ideas Award. World Changing Ideas were announced today, honoring the businesses, policies, projects, and concepts that are actively engaged and deeply committed to flattening the curve when it comes to the climate crisis, social injustice, or economic inequality.

412 Food Rescue’s Food Rescue Hero app won the Apps category and was selected as a finalist in the Food category. It is the only technology nonprofit to be recognized. The app coordinates over 10,000 volunteer food rescue drivers in Pittsburgh and is now scaling food recovery in six cities nationwide. Since its launch in 2015, 412 Food Rescue’s volunteers have redirected over 9 million pounds of food in Pittsburgh alone. More reliable than even some commercial food delivery services, this volunteer network has a 99 percent service level (they miss only 1 percent of available food rescues) with drivers responding to each push notification within six minutes. 

Now in its fourth year, the World Changing Ideas Awards showcase 26 winners, more than 200 finalists, and more than 500 honorable mentions—with Health and Wellness, Corporate Social Responsibility, and AI and Data among the most popular categories. A panel of eminent judges selected winners and finalists from a pool of more than 3,000 entries across transportation, education, food, politics, technology, and more. The 2020 awards feature entries from across the globe, from Vancouver to Singapore to Tel Aviv.

Illustrating how some of the world’s most inventive entrepreneurs and companies are addressing grave global challenges, Fast Company’s May/June issue celebrates, among others, an electric engine for airplanes that eliminates emissions from flights—and expensive fuel from the tricky financial calculus of the airline industry; a solar-powered refrigerator that finally frees people in remote villages from daily treks to distant markets, transforming the economics of those households; and an initiative to offset all of the carbon costs of shipping, creating a new model for e-commerce sustainability.

“It’s incredible to be honored among other companies with audacious ideas to solve our biggest challenges,” says 412 Food Rescue’s co-founder and CEO Leah Lizarondo. “412 Food Rescue has always been coordinated by technology but powered by people. In the last month, we’ve seen the largest surge of people stepping up to help their communities, responding to the clarion call in this time of crisis and beyond. We are so proud to accept this honor on behalf of Pittsburgh and our strong, resilient community.” 

“There seems no better time to recognize organizations that are using their ingenuity, resources, and, in some cases, their scale to tackle society’s biggest problems,” says Stephanie Mehta, editor-in-chief of Fast Company. “Our journalists, under the leadership of senior editor Morgan Clendaniel, have uncovered some of the smartest and most inspiring projects of the year.”