"A lot of our food heroes are actually veterans as well as previous recipients of our food," added Ahmad. "Now they come on as paid drivers and it's not just a handout, but a hand up."
Ahmad is hoping that Copia's business model is an incentive for companies to participate. Copia charges participating businesses anywhere between 35 to 50 cents per pound of food. In turn, Copia diligently tracks and provides data so that companies can use a tax deductible write off, enabling the companies to receive money back.
"By our documentation, it ends up being 200 to 400% return, after our fees, and that's a cash benefit. It ends up paying you more to give away that food, and you also get money that you would have otherwise left on the table, or worse, in the trash," said Ahmad.
"It costs over $218 billion, and businesses pay $50 billion just in over producing, over purchasing, and the disposal of food. It costs money, and if food waste were a country, it would be the third largest producer of methane after the United States and China. It has ramifications beyond just financial implications."