ChowMatch is a software technology that uses matching logic to connect agencies with surplus food donated by restaurants, grocery stores, caterers, farms, and many others. The technology helps to streamline the distribution of untouched surplus food to agencies and organizations such as family shelters, homeless shelters, neighborhood feeding programs, churches, schools, 100% affordable housing programs, and many other food assistance organizations.
In the United States, 131 billion pounds1 of our food supply goes to waste. Much of the waste includes plate waste, spoilage, blemishes, habits, over-ordering, etc.. Donors use ChowMatch to manage their food waste and food surplus.
ChowMatch is currently used in over 500 cities and towns in the United States to recover and deliver several tons of food daily to feeding programs.
Our mission is to make ChowMatch available globally to eliminate food insecurities, food waste, and pollution.
Tod Hing – Founder (History)
In 2013, the first version of ChowMatch was developed over a long weekend after Tod’s wife, Maria Yap, founder of the food recovery non-profit Peninsula Food Runners, complained about her lack of resources while recovering surplus food. That initial version helped to streamline the pickup schedule for fresh surplus food and matching the food with the right food assistance organization, using volunteer food runners to pick up and deliver within 1 hour. The entire process managed using the ChowMatch application without a dispatcher. Today, ChowMatch is on its 4th major revision using Matching Logic and soon, Artificial Intelligence to assist in the recovery and delivery of 100,000 meals every week across the U.S.
When Tod was exposed to food waste and hunger while helping Maria, it brought back a lot of memories from his childhood. Tod grew up working in his parents family run grocery store in Coolidge, Arizona.
“Many of our customers were from the nearby Indian reservation, who bought groceries on credit. The poverty rate was pretty high in our town, but we were one of the more fortunate ones. Still, we never wasted anything from our store. We always brought home the stuff that expired, like milk, or the can foods that were dented, or the ugly fruit that was too ripe. We ate the stuff that the customers didn’t buy. When I moved to San Francisco, I saw the amount of food and the quality of food getting thrown away at supermarkets and restaurants, it really hit home. It just didn’t make sense with all the homeless that go hungry every day. There are several hundred food recovery organizations that are trying to reduce food waste and alleviate hunger. But most of these organizations are on a shoestring budget with limited resources. I knew I could make a difference by using technology to do more with less.”
Now with a team of developers and consultants, Tod oversees the development and support of the ChowMatch application, which is on its 4th major revision and being used in over 500 U.S cities and towns. Tod is CEO of the parent company, Hing Consulting, which provides services in mobile app development and web application development to Fortune 500 companies. Tod has also been an independent web consultant at Stanford University since 2014, working on the simTK project at Stanford Biomedical Computing.
Maria is currently the Executive Director of Peninsula Food Runners, a non-profit dedicated to alleviating hunger and reducing food waste in the San Francisco Bay Area. Maria was a large contributor to the design and implementation of the first several versions of ChowMatch. Many of the features integrated into ChowMatch were based on the food recovery experience and knowledge Maria gained while volunteering as a food runner for 8 years.
Maria is still a major contributor to enhancements for ChowMatch and plays a significant role in making ChowMatch available globally to eliminate food insecurities, food waste, and pollution.
You can read about Maria’s Story here.