COOMIDA is an innovative technological and cooperative tool aimed to facilitate food donations (including surplus food), thus reducing food waste production.
In 2017, there were 112.8 million people in the EU-28 who lived in households at risk of poverty or social exclusion (AROPE), equivalent to 22.4 % of the entire population. In 2017, 6.6% of the population in the EU-28 were severely materially deprived. On the other side, around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros (FUSIONS, 2016). Together, in 2018, the European Food Banks provided 781,000 tons of food - equivalent to 4.3 million daily meals - to 45,700 charitable organisations for the benefit of 9.3 million deprived people. Regarding the traditional donations, there are also a number of bottlenecks. Mainly, donors and charities must go to the Food Banks, consuming time, resources and increasing fuel emissions. On the other side, as the resources of Food Banks are limited, they use to be focused on large donations, so little or remote surplus donations can be lost.
COOMIDA is an innovative technological and cooperative tool aimed to ease food donation (including surplus food), thus reducing food waste production. COOMIDA connects local donors, food bank, volunteers, and charities through a collaborative network for an efficient and sustainable management of food donations. COOMIDA allows donors and charities to keep contact directly; therefore it can reduce time, emissions and expenditure. COOMIDA also allows to recover little and remote donations that otherwise could exceed the Food Bank capacity.
COOMIDA was developed as part of a bigger ICT project (SmartWasteCollection). The total investment for SWC development reached 600,000 €, out of which 150,000 € were allocated for COOMIDA development.
New regions should consider around 3,000 € for COOMIDA adaptation and hosting
Evidence of success
In 2018, COOMIDA recovered 6,000 kg of surplus food.
COOMIDA has been included in REFRESH Community of Experts http://www.refreshcoe.eu/resources/coomida/
COOMIDA has been recognised as a best practice by the Spanish strategy “Más alimento, menos desperdicio” (More food, less waste) https://www.menosdesperdicio.es/vuestras-experiencias/comprometidos-con-la-plataforma-coomida
Local authorities (Social as well as Environmental affairs) must be involved during implementation. Local Food Bank must be the core of the system (administrator of COOMIDA) promoting its use among charities (food recipients) and potential donors (food shops, supermarkets, restaurants, etc.)
Potential for learning or transfer
COOMIDA meets the recent Directive 2018/851 on waste, which encourage Member States to facilitate food donation and take into account the charities.
COOMIDA is helping Asturias to reduce locally wasting of surplus food, as well as to fight food needs of people at risk of poverty.
As food waste and food needs are common problems to be solved across Europe, COOMIDA could be replicated through the existing Food Banks https://www.eurofoodbank.org/ , encouraged by their respective local authorities involved in Social affairs as well as Environmental affairs.