Retail chains, markets and other manufacturers in Serbia are now able to donate food to those who need it the most with the help of a new app. So the poor can get help – with one click.
A non-profit association “Donorum” , which consists of eight young innovators, the last year has made application “Pablik ornate infrastrakčer” (Public kitchen infrastructure), which allows companies that produce, process or sell food that is donated, and those who need the food most, that they get it at a charity that uses the app. So far, there are four of them, including Cinderella from Grocka and Rainbow from Novi Sad.
The app donates food to the poor
The procedure is simple – after companies and charities register with the application and the association verifies their information, donation begins. The donors enter into the application what they donate, how many pounds, in what packaging, the shelf life of the product… Humanitarian organizations then choose what they need, the parties confirm the transaction, so the food can be downloaded and distributed to the socially disadvantaged.
“Our long-term plan is for large food delivery companies to include donations on their routes,” says Gordana Jovanovic, Donorum manager.
Currently, the application can only be accessed through computers , but the association hopes to provide the means in the future to allow the application to work on mobile phones as well. Still, it’s just a small stumbling block in the path of a donor-charity.
” If you want to donate a product, food or clothing worth over 5,000 dinars, you have to pay a tax of 25 percent,” our interviewee said.
Food waste is punished across Europe
She adds that supermarkets throw away products , such as fruits and vegetables, although they are still usable.
“Supermarkets are not penalized for destroying food. In France, as of 2016, you can be fined up to € 75,000 if you do not donate food on a daily basis, ”Jovanovic explains.
According to the United Nations, cited by the Donorum Association, Serbian households throw away about 250,000 tons of food a year . Bread, fruits and vegetables are mostly thrown away.
“We do not have data on how much food is thrown from industrial plants per year. The process of destruction is expensive. It is considered that 12 to 18 dinars are needed to destroy a kilogram of food, ”says Jovanovic.
So far, they say, Serbian companies have mostly donated . Donorum is negotiating with larger market chains to start using the app as well. The goal is humane and the association young, so they hope for new collaborations. But also better law.