ChowMatch uses software technology to recover surplus food and to also prevent over production of food. Our flagship Enterprise Application 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 our ChowMatch products to manage their food waste and food surplus.
Our ChowMatch products are currently used in over 700 cities and towns in the United States to prevent, recover, deliver and track several millions pounds of food daily.
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 Enterprise 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 Enterprise is on its 5th major revision using Matching Logic and soon, Artificial Intelligence to assist in the recovery and delivery of several million meals daily 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 Pima 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 cloud suite of ChowMatch products.
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.