TWO savvy Trinity College Dublin graduates have received a social entrepreneurial award in London – just days after one of them was included on Time magazine’s list of next generation leaders.
Iseult Ward is a business and economics graduate and Aoibheann O’Brien recently attained a Master of Science in Environmental Science.
Together, they have come up with Food Cloud - an innovative service that connects businesses with too much food to charities with too little.
Just this week, the year-old organisation received a boost when they were one of nine winners of Ben & Jerry’s social entrepreneurial award, Join Our Core.
“Aoibheann was over in London and presented to a panel of judges and we were delighted to win one of the prizes – about €10,000,” said Iseult.
The news came just after Time magazine announced their list of next generation leaders earlier this month, with Iseult securing one of the coveted spots.
“I don’t think I really realised the significance of it until the list actually came out,” she said. “But it’s brilliant for Food Cloud to get the publicity and to show businesses that we want to become a leading organisation in Ireland.”
Not only that, but in the last fortnight Food Cloud has secured a €140,000 Social Entrepreneurs Ireland award.
Every year in Ireland, around one million tonnes of food goes to waste between restaurants, supermarkets and more. That is the equivalent of 325,000 meals.
Food Cloud is an app for both businesses and charities.
A business will upload the details of their excess food to the app, which will see a nearby charity getting a message notifying it of the donation.
“It’s mostly retailers that we’re working with,” explains Iseult. “Tesco is our national partner. Food in supermarkets is the most beneficial to charities, which we found out from research we did with charities, because it’s pre-packaged and safe.”
With Food Cloud, there is no food waste and less hungry stomachs on the streets of Ireland.
Businesses reduce their waste disposal costs and charities in return get good quality food.
Combining Iseult’s passion for food and business talents, along with Aoibheann’s environmental consultation background, Food Cloud has gone from strength to strength, with Aoibheann and Iseult’s hard work in social entrepreneurialism being recognised with the awards.
“I really believe Ireland can become a leader in this field,” Iseult added.
So far, about 90 business and charities in 19 counties across Ireland have signed up for Iseult and Aoibheann’s brainwave.