Komal Ahmen, at student at the University of California in Berkley, was approached by a homeless man as she was walking near campus in 2011. He had one simple request – money for food. Instead of handing it over, Komal invited the man to eat lunch with him.
While they were eating, Komal learned that this man was a 26-year-old war veteran who served 2 terms in Iraq. Appalled by the fact that someone that fought for the country was living on the streets without food, Komal decided to help.
At UC Berkeley, she started a program that pushed the dining halls to donate leftover food to local homeless shelters. Since the beginning of the program, 140 other college campuses have started doing the same thing. Now, Komal, at 25-years-old, is the CEO of the nonprofit Feeding Forward. With an app, Feeding Forward allows Bay Area companies and planners to have a driver pick up and deliver their excess food and donate them to food banks.
Since Feeding Forward’s launch in 2013, over 684,000 pounds of food has been redistributed, feeding over 570,000 people in the Bay Area.
Komal hopes that her nonprofit will be able to expand to Seattle and Boston.