Three years ago, Dan Newman was visiting his friend Bryan Summersett, in Seattle. They decided to order pizza. A lot of pizza. “We wanted to try a bunch of them. But our eyes were bigger than our stomachs,” Newman says.
They couldn’t finish it all, and wondered what they might do with the leftovers. “We had a bunch of pizza left over at the end of the night, and we thought it would be great if we could broadcast that we had pizza available.”
Summersett is a coder, Newman an entrepreneur. When they get together, they often discuss business ideas. At the time, they thought sharing leftovers may be a bit out-there. But, these days it doesn’t seem so strange: people are already sharing everything from homes to bikes.
The friends’ app, called LeftoverSwap, will finally launch at the end of this month. People with spare food will be able to list what they have, and the location. People wanting the food will get in touch via an instant messaging system. The aim isn’t to make money: nothing is exchanged, except food. Rather, Summersett and Newman are keen to do something about the 40% of food that goes to waste every year.
You might expect that food-swapping would be limited to certain people. But Newman says a wide range of folks have been in touch, expressing interest. “We’re heard from every demographic: parents in urban neighborhoods, people in giant office parks trading lunches, people outside sports games tail-gating, home gardeners who have extra harvest, home cooks who love to share their meals.”