As an undergraduate at NYU, Hannah Dehradunwala often found herself at events around New York City catered for 200 people but attended by a dozen. “There was all this really good food,” she says, “and at the end of the night it was thrown in the trash.” All around her, throughout the city, there were people going hungry. Why, she wondered, couldn't “A” be connected to “B”?
That simple question gave birth to Transfernation, Dehradunwala's groundbreaking food-redistribution nonprofit. She designed an app that connects corporate infrastructures to shelters, soup kitchens, and churches, creating a real-time pipeline that eliminates both hunger and waste. It's the first service of its kind, and Dehradunwala got it off the ground without any formal background in business or technology. “I originally went to school for art,” she jokes.
In the past two years, Transfernation has redistributed more than 220,000 pounds of food to countless shelters throughout NYC. Dehradunwala's focus now is on fundraising and expansion. She intends to bring the Transfernation model to other cities, and eventually go international. “I'm trying to change the way people think about charity.”