Food News

Plano High School Students Take Action Against Restaurant Food Waste and Hunger

Trefos aims to pair restaurants with food banks.
Trefos aims to pair restaurants with food banks. Photo by simon peel on Unsplash
It's no secret that food waste has become a big issue in our world. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that between 30% and 40% of the food supply is wasted. Additionally, the 2022 State of Food Insecurity in the World (SOFI) report said that the number of people affected by hunger rose by 46 million to 828 million from 2020 to 2021.

Four Plano East Senior High School students are taking action. What started as a school project has turned into a way to decrease the amount of food waste while helping those who need it most. Jay Bhalala, Jeremy Chuah, Emmanuel Tawiah and Nikhil Jain put their heads together and came up with Trefos, an online nonprofit service that connects local restaurants to food banks.

"The name Trefos is actually derived from Greek origin, meaning to nourish," Jain said. "We found this fitting with our core values and mission and saw it as a perfect name to represent our organization."

Trefos was created after the students saw the eye-catching statistic that 85% of the food not used by restaurants in the U.S. is thrown into the garbage. Globally, this amounts to 1.3 billion tons every year and wastes up to $1 trillion.

Looking at these overwhelming statistics, these high schoolers have come up with an efficient way for restaurants to help their community in an impactful way.

"The restaurants can sign up and create a profile with their contact information as well as the amount of food they're able to give," Chuah said. "From there, food banks can go on the discover page and see every restaurant donating and pick out what they need based on distance and supply."

The organization is currently in the beginning stages of setting up its service and building a volunteer network for delivering to food banks. The group is looking for restaurants in Plano to get involved at first, with plans to expand to other North Texas cities.

"Food waste is a big problem and action must be taken," Chauh said.

Visit their website to learn more about the nonprofit and how you can get involved, and follow @trefos.network on Instagram for more updates.
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