(Photo by Tyler Golden/Getty Images)
Last month, 23-year-old social entrepreneur Evan Lutz sold 10 percent equity in his Baltimore-based social enterprise Hungry Harvest to investor Robert Herjavec for $100,000 on ABC‘s Shark Tank.
“My heart was pounding out of my chest,” he told Technical.ly Baltimore after appearing on the hit TV series. Now, in addition to operating in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Hungry Harvest’s services have expanded to Philadelphia.
The social enterprise works with local farms and wholesalers to purchase produce that would otherwise get tossed (i.e. a slightly bruised yet very edible apple), package it, and deliver it to subscribers once a week. The company’s mission is to reduce food waste and feed hungry families. To do that, they’ve adopted a buy-one-give-one model: For every box Hungry Harvest delivers, they also donate one healthy meal to a family in need.
“There’s such a surplus of recovered fruits and vegetables in the United States that there’s enough out there for both our customers and people in need,” Lutz said. “We are expected to have seven billion people on the planet in 35 years. How are we supposed to feed all seven billion people when 40 percent of what we grow goes to waste?”
It’s one of the more pressing issues facing the country, Lutz said. So far, the company has recovered 375,000 pounds of produce from the food economy and has donated 100,000 pounds of that score to 200 families in need.
In Philly, Hungry Harvest has managed to triple its customer base in the past three weeks alone. The company will look to expand into New York, Northern New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Richmond by the end of the year.-30-
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