Pinch me! Did ReFED really select us to join the 10-team cohort to move food recovery forward? Yes!

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By: Steven Williams, Operations Manager

After being encouraged by members of the hunger-relief community in Des Moines, Aubrey and I took the plunge and went through the application process for ReFED’s Nonprofit Food Recovery Accelerator. We weren’t sure what would happen, but then a few weeks later we were invited to do a video interview with the incredible people at Acumen+. As I recall, I was extremely nervous and not sure how receptive Acumen+ and ReFED would be to our earned-revenue model. We were wrong because soon after, we received the email that we were in fact selected to join a cohort of 10 nonprofits. Over 125 organizations applied and they chose EGDM. Not that I need validation in my work and passion, but this meant so much to EGDM and me.

Thanks to The Walmart Foundation, they awarded each of the 10 nonprofits $30,000 to begin moving their work forward and cover travel expenses. Yes, travel. We are being sent to San Francisco twice and Chicago to work on improving our earned-revenue model. In the coming weeks I will share the framework EGDM is going through in the accelerator to help provide more context.

In a nutshell our earned-revenue model is looking at the value we provide to our community through our food recovery program and begin sharing the costs of our program amongst our beneficiaries, specifically food donors. Through the accelerator, we will put our model through a human-centered design program to enhance the model in hopes to receive an additional $100,000 to support said model. Honestly, EGDM has already won. Through the accelerator, we will be able to access experts and other food recovery programs from around the country. This value will help us move our ideas forward regardless if we were to receive the $100,000.

Aubrey and I fly to San Francisco for our first in-person learning lab on Monday, September 9th. I am very excited and cannot wait to meet all the other professionals in food recovery and continue to move our ideas forward.

You can follow along on our journey as I blog about the experience. Cheers!