(Photo courtesy of Hungry Harvest)
In 2014, Hungry Harvest founder and then–University of Maryland student Evan Lutz set out to do something about two shocking U.S. statistics: 40 percent of perfectly good food is discarded, and 20 percent of the population faces food insecurity.
His idea to “rescue” the fresh produce the supermarkets don’t want and deliver it directly to consumers at an affordable price, as well as through partnerships with programs such as SNAP and Philabundance, seems almost too perfect to be viable.
The idea proved so seemingly perfect that it caught the attention of ABC’s Shark Tank, which invited Lutz to apply to present Hungry Harvest on the pitch show in 2015. He appeared on the show in January 2016, where he landed a $100,000 deal for 10 percent with Robert Herjavec (Lutz had asked for $50,000 for a 5 percent stake). Within a month of the air date, Philadelphia was added as a new market, expanding the company out of the Baltimore/D.C. area. New York City, Pittsburgh, Richmond, Va., and South Florida also became Hungry Harvest markets.
Delaware is up next.
Ever wonder why our rescued produce needed rescuing in 2017? Sometimes it's just a little too big, a little too ugly or a little too colorful for grocery to stock. You end up with an awful lot of produce that's destined to go uneaten. Together we make that right. pic.twitter.com/Ke8a5f61vB
— Hungry Harvest (@HungryHarvest) December 27, 2017
On Jan. 12, the first Hungry Harvest deliveries will finally come to the First State. It’s an unusual time to launch a fresh produce service based in the mid-Atlantic, but hey, food doesn’t stop going to waste in the winter.
While most of Hungry Harvest’s farmers currently are in the mid-Atlantic region, the startup also works with farmers as far south as Immokalee, Fla., allowing for fresh year-round fruit and vegetables.
You can add on other rejected foods, too — loaves of sliced bread rescued from premature discarding, jumbo cage-free white eggs that were passed over for brown eggs, pesto made with recovered fresh basil.
Boxes start at $15 for the “mini harvest” of fresh, superficially rejected (HH lovingly calls it “ugly”) produce like the smaller-than-average peaches and funny-shaped eggplants that would otherwise end up in a landfill. Click here to order, and use the code LAUNCHDE to save $5 on your first delivery.
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