How Silicon Valley fights food waste


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For those privy to the world of tech, the free meals offered by such companies as Google, Facebook, and Apple have become the stuff of legend. At the Googleplex, Google’s Mountain View headquarters, for example, employees never are more than 200 feet away from food. And this isn’t a half measure — Google’s food is varied, tasty and designed to promote health and environmental values, such as being organic and sourced locally.

Naturally, with all of this food being produced to feed Silicon Valley’s hungry tech legions, it also generates a significant amount of food waste. While this is regrettable, many of these innovative firms are on top of making sure that all of this waste doesn’t end up in the landfill.

Redistributing food to those who need it

Despite the booming tech industry, not everyone in the Silicon Valley is reaping the benefits — one in seven people in the area struggles with hunger, according to Feeding America. Perhaps nothing is more symbolic of the region’s growing inequality than the fact that many tech companies produce more food than their employees could ever consume even as countless others in the local community go to bed hungry.

Luckily, many in Silicon Valley have partnered with local nonprofit Food Runners, which picks up food from companies and distributes it to people in need. The partnership between Food Runners and area tech companies is so solid that they provide around half of the goods Food Runners retrieves. The group picks up breakfast and lunch food and the “runners” immediately deliver...

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