Hungry to help the hungry: Monash University graduate creates app to minimise food waste

By Annabelle Lee

With a Master’s degree in Environmental Management, Rumman Islam used his skills to attempt to improve our current food waste situation by creating ‘Foodski’.

Rumman Islam, creator of Foodski
Rumman Islam, creator of Foodski. Picture: Annabelle Lee

Unlike many other food rescue apps and services, Mr Islam said ‘Foodski’ was more “direct, simple, and modern”.

“It’s on your phone and right in your pocket for whenever you need food or want to donate food at any location,” he said.

“If you’ve got extra food that you’re planning on throwing out, put it up on ‘Foodski’ by uploading photos, a description, your availability, when the food can be taken, and it gets uploaded onto a map.

If you want to take food, you can see what’s available on the map, reserve it, and contact the food supplier through SMS or a phone call via the app itself.”

Mr Islam said food safety was considered, where the terms and conditions presented before advertising food meant everything posted had to be safely consumable.

Mr Islam said he was “ always a bit of a hippy”, and was conscious of the environment from a young age.

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“But as much as I did care about (the environment), I’ve always wasted food – so have my friends and family – so one day I thought something had to be done,” he said.

The app received more than one thousand downloads after Mr Islam released it on Apple and Google Play one month ago.

Fare Share Australia representative Majella Mugent expressed concern about the unknown nature of apps like Foodski.

Ms Mugent said although these apps were a great start to tackling such a huge issue in Australia, there might be risks involved.

“Here at Fare Share, we prepare nutritious, hygienic meals just as any other business would, following the same basic standards and laws as any other commercial operation,” she said.

Ms Mugent said food rescued by Fare Share must be before it’s used by date or no more than 8 months passed its best before date.

“We cook the meals in our kitchen, so we can keep track of the quality and standard of the food we’re providing to those in need.”

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Ms Mugent said despite the work Fare Share achieved in terms of food waste, the issue was bigger than their capabilities.

“It really needs change in government policy and a change in our society’s cosmetic standards – also more education.”

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