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Creating Jobs and Wealth in Distressed Michigan Communities

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In this podcast, we talk with Dr. Mahmoudi, an assistant professor at the School of Packaging. The aim of her project is to eliminate food waste by making excess food accessible for people in need. A food donor (e.g., a farm, retailer, or catering service) donates some food to a food bank. Then, the food bank will quickly decide to send the food to distribution agencies or to composting facilities. For this decision making, the food bank should consider various factors such as environmental (e.g., harsh weather conditions), physical (e.g., personnel and mobility resources), social (e.g., recipients’ food restrictions due to various cultural and religious backgrounds), and economic (e.g., monetary budgets). They develop an analytical framework that can provide an applicable guideline for food banks to decide about the final destination of the donated food (with respect to the availability of the resources, as well as quality, volume and type of donated food). This can result in significant cost-saving and improve the accessibility of people in need to excess food.

Dr. Mahmoudi's Co-Learning Plan

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