Food for Us is funded through the One Planet, 10YFP Trust Fund established by UNEP. The project was selected through an open 10YFP Trust Fund Call for Proposals for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme with the financial support of the Government of Japan.
In a country that produces more than enough food to feed everybody how is it that just under 50% are nutritionally poor. Two key factors in this crisis are challenges related to finding markets for produce and accessing affordable nutritious food. Food for Us provides an innovative mobile phone application that brings together producers and consumers of food. The vision is to reduce food waste and enhance food security be providing a convenient platform for connecting interested people.
The aim of the project is to develop and trial a mobile phone application in South Africa which contributes towards the alleviation of food insecurity and aids access to nutritious food in a country where significant food loss occurs on-farm.
The project runs from May 2017 until June 2018, and will be conducted in two sites, Greater Cape Town and the rural Eastern Cape. A range of fresh produce growers (both small and large) within these regions will be able to make available surplus fresh produce for trade to buyers. A buyer focus is on entities that distribute food or feed those in need, for example feeding schemes, schools, charities, hospitals and other public entities (but not limited to). The application requirements are defined by the users to ensure it is fit for purpose and has longevity.
The trial sits within a broader transformative learning framework. Research will be undertaken to add to the growing body of research being undertaken on social learning, sustainable food systems and food loss and waste in South Africa. Social learning and networking drivers, opportunities and outcomes will be monitored throughout the project to ascertain how learning takes place around the use of the application, and other affiliated project activities to better inform users of the issues of sustainable food systems and food loss and waste. The outcomes of this research will inform a global body of work on transformative learning, and food systems research.
The project is being undertaken by the Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC) at Rhodes University, with a wider consortium of specialist project partners.