Explore GEN family of websites, social media experiences, blogs and more.

Unleashing ideas.
Strengthening startups.

Back to search results
    Date submitted
  • 04-Feb-2018



Dibbs is a student-run team from the University of Illinois dedicated to eliminate food waste and fight hunger through connecting excess food from local grocery stores to food agencies through innovative, real-time technology to streamline processes. Currently, 25 million tons of food at the retail level are thrown away, while 1 in 7 people in Champaign County are food insecure. Food agencies such as soup kitchens and food pantries have trouble serving nutritious foods due to the perishability and cost of fresh food. With the huge amount of food waste and hunger per day, we are determined to change the current situation through a real time usable technology platform, which we create and provide for relevant business and organization.


Original YouTube URL: Open

Introduction Video

Additional Questions

Who is your customer?

Dibbs is targeting at local grocery stores and food pantry agencies which provides fresh food for customers, and take food donations provided for local people. Our main target is grocery stores, most of which provide health organic fresh food and have a strict standard towards the food they sell; thus, it is more likely for them to throw away food that is still fresh. To eliminate the extra food, local grocery stores usually pay a large amount of fee to other organizations to transport the food out of the market and get the food destroyed. Our platform will save them numerous time and money for their extra food. Our second market segment will be food pantries, which take food donation and provide food for people with the need for food. Food pantries can post the food they need on the platform and Dibbs will be able to connect the grocery stores with extra food to the food pantries. As a result, food pantries will have steady food donation providers to increase their efficiency.

What problem does this idea/product solve or what market need does it serve?

Currently, food agencies like soup kitchens and food pantries receive the majority of their food (mostly non-perishables) from food banks and donations. Grocery stores throw out a lot of perfectly healthy food for reasons such as being near shelf life and cosmetic blemishes. There is no current standardized solution to connect food agencies to grocery stores' excess food. Based on the data from USDA, the total food waste is about 30% to 40% of food supply, corresponded to approximately 131 billion pound and $161 billion food worth in 2010. The total expenditures on food waste was estimated to be $165 billion annually, according to National Resource Defense Council. In this food industry, Dibbs plays a role as the connector between the two ends to reduce food waste.

What attributes will make this idea/product successful? Why do you believe that those features will create success?

Dibbs is the only currently functioning platform in Champaign County that connects the grocery stores with food pantries to save excess food. As a real-time platform with high-tech, Dibbs is able to offer its customers and suppliers the most updated information towards the availability of food. Furthermore, grocery stores can use Dibbs to save money and time for their extra food as well as building their reputation towards the community, as Dibbs aims to fight hunger for the community. Based on great feedback from our community partners, more grocery stores and agencies will find value in working with Dibbs.

Explain how you (your team) will execute to make this idea/product successful? What gives you (your team) an advantage over others already in the market or new to this market?

Dibbs will offer a web application with a communication platform, dashboard of available food, inventory database, dashboard of donation metrics, and donation receipts. When food is taken off the shelf at a grocery store, an employee can scan it onto the Dibbs app with a specified pick-up time and location. Agencies in the region can open the Dibbs app to view a dashboard of the available food, select it, and then use the communication platform to coordinate logistics. After the donation has been completed, both sides will receive information about the metrics of donation and financial information.