Meal Matchup facilitates the donation of left over food from University of Washington dining halls to local non-profits:

  • Feeding people in need

  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) generated from food compost

  • Using an interactive, responsive, open source website

  • Tracking pounds of food diverted from compost

  • Delivering food with help of service learning students

  • Increasing student service learning opportunities and related civic engagement

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Meal Matchup differs from most existing food recovery platforms in three key ways:

  • We employed a human centered design process when designing and building our site.

  • We built our website open source for global scalability.

  • We provide the delivery of food.


During our research, we reviewed more than 15 existing apps and interviewed 50 local agencies in the Seattle region and found that:

  • Many large institutions, including the UW, have needs that are not fully addressed by existing apps or food recovery programs.

  • Most existing food recovery groups are stretched to capacity, lacking the resources for additional food pick-ups and deliveries--transportation of food being one of the largest pain points in food recovery work. See our research page for more.

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The Problem

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In the U.S. alone, 40% of
food is wasted

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About 15.6 million people were food insecure last year

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Food waste causes 14% of greenhouse gas emissions

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$161 billion worth of food is wasted annually

The Solution


Meal Matchup

Meal Matchup not only reduces food waste, protects the environment, fights against hunger, and streamlines efficiency of food recovery, but also offers a simple method for donating leftover food and provides students with community involvement opportunities.

How it Works

Meal Matchup partners with local dining halls, student groups, and non-profit organizations to facilitate the transportation of food waste. Using an open source website, dining halls indicate when they have extra food and when student groups should pick it up. Volunteers pick up the excess food and transport it to a selected shelter or other non-profit organization.

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#1: Stakeholders sign up to participate

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#2: Leftover food is collected in dining halls

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#3: Volunteers deliver the food from dining halls to non-profits

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#4: People are fed, and food waste is avoided