Website for Food Waste Reduction by Plano Teens

Four high school students from Plano have developed their own software to battle food waste after pandemic forces restaurants to close according to a Local Profile article which reports, 

 

“According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 14% of the world’s food is lost between harvest and retail markets, while another 17% is wasted once it makes its way to stores and consumers’ homes. In the U.S. that number seats between 30-40%. After finding out about this issue, it didn’t sit well with four Plano East Senior High School students who sought to change that.

 

The way it works is users will receive a notification that a registered restaurant has excess food available to pick up, each type of food is labeled with its weight, how old it is and pick-up availability. Then, users receive the necessary information to get the food and take it to a food bank. 

 

The initiative speaks volumes of how much these teens are in-tuned with their community, as previously covered by Local Profile, in July The Storehouse, a local nonprofit organization reported that since 2021, the demand for food assistance increased by 44 percent.”

 

The Trefos group composed Jay Bhalala, Emmanuel Tawian, Jeremy Chua as well as Nikhil Jain have started on their ninth grade with their passion of helping according to a Plano Magazine article. They say, 

 

“Back in ninth grade, we were doing what most people were doing at the time – calling restaurants near us and asking if they had leftover food and then finding nonprofits that take in that sort of food,” Bhalala said. “We built a lot of connections doing this until COVID hit and a lot of restaurants were shutting down. That’s why we made the website.”

“We just really want to help people, especially homeless people that don’t have access to food,” said Bhalala. “It’s pretty messed up that all those homeless people are on the street with no food while all these restaurants are throwing away tons of food every day.”

 

“We aren’t sure where we’re going to go for college yet because senior year just started, but the most likely case is that we’re probably all going to go different ways,” Chuah said. “We’re probably still going to continue doing it, which will be good for our website because we’re going to be in different locations and make connections in different areas of really any part of the U.S. and not just Plano.”

 

Currently, the Trefos group is still searching for more and more restaurants as well as volunteers in order to register for their website. Accordingly, they are looking for high school volunteers or any other available non-profit employees. 

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