December 11, 2013 (Norwalk, CT) – Community Plates today announced the rollout of its next-generation GoRescue App which is designed to streamline and enhance the nonprofit’s food rescue process. The volunteer-driven, technology-fueled Community Plates rescues surplus food and transfers it directly to receiving agencies to feed the food-insecure. GoRescue, at the edge of the emerging “social good” technology movement, lets food runners access the organization’s “self-serve volunteer management system” via mobile phone or the Web. With the App, volunteers sign-up for food runs on the spot or in advance, access details about the run, and participate in a community of social volunteers.
Creating a shared-experience among volunteers
The most significant new capability of Community Plates’ new GoRescue technology is a social feature that provides volunteers with a greater sense of community and support. “Community Plates offers unmatched flexibility and autonomy for our volunteers since they can sign-up for food runs at times and locations that fit their schedules,” said Kevin Mullins, executive director of Community Plates. “GoRescue allows volunteers to ‘bring’ the Community Plates community along during their individual food runs for a more rewarding experience.” More specifically, GoRescue keeps Community Plate volunteers engaged by enabling them to chat about food runs, share ideas about new opportunities to help the food-insecure, and most importantly, swap inspirational success stories about the people they help.
GoRescue is initially being deployed in Community Plates’ Connecticut markets, including Fairfield and New Haven counties. In early-2014 it will become available in Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH.
While in earlier stages, the core GoRescue technology was awarded the 2013 ComputerWorld Honors Program 21st Century Achievement Award in Human Services. The annual awards program pays tribute to organizations that use information technology to promote and advance the public welfare, and benefit society and business. Community Plates received the top honor in the Human Services category from among 29 Laureates that were selected from an original 750 applicants to the Program. GoRescue is powered by WhenToManage, an innovator of cloud-based software for the restaurant, hospitality and retail industries.
“The beauty of the Community Plates’ technology and volunteer-driven model is that it is extremely scalable and sustainable which is vital to achieving our goal of eliminating food insecurity in the U.S.,” continued Mullins. “As the organization grows, the simplicity of GoRescue will continue making volunteers more efficient. This is critical to enabling Community Plates to achieve this year’s goal of rescuing three-million meals, and significantly more year-after-year.”
Community Plates and WhenToManage will work together to expand GoRescue’s features, including automated alerts to and from volunteers, badges in recognition of each volunteer’s invaluable commitment, and more. In addition, the data available from the new technology will continually be mined, allowing Community Plates to assume a leadership role in measuring and understanding food insecurity in the U.S.
About food insecurity in America
There are an estimated 50 million food-insecure individuals in America, of which 1 in 5 are children under 5 years (according to the USDA). The traditional food rescue model has high overhead and fresh food waste caused by additional levels of infrastructure and food handling via fleets of trucks, drivers and warehousing. Utilizing the cloud-based “Go Rescue” App and volunteer model, Community Plates eliminates much of the overhead of the traditional food rescue process, while delivering fresher (and thereby healthier) food directly to the hungry.
About Community Plates
Community Plates is committed to ending food insecurity in America. Recognizing the problem as a matter of logistics, not a lack of food, the organization established a volunteer-driven, technology-fueled method for transferring surplus food to those in need. The simple process involves food donors (grocery stores, restaurants, caterers, bakeries and other food-service establishments), food runners (individuals who pick-up and deliver donated food) and receiving agencies (soup kitchens, pantries, etc.). Connecting the donated food, volunteer transfer, and receiving agency in a timely and seamless fashion is made easy with Community Plates’ GoRescue technology. Since Community Plates was founded in 2011, more than 700 volunteers have rescued food that equates to two-million meals. Launched and headquartered in Fairfield County, CT, Community Plates also operates in New Haven, CT, Albuquerque, NM and Columbus, OH with plans to expand to four more markets in 2014. For more information or to get involved visit: foodrescueus.wpengine.com