Awards, People

Young tech entrepreneurs take bite out of hunger

By Carol Ness

Komal Ahmad
Komal Ahmad

When Komal Ahmad was a student at Berkeley, she met a homeless veteran on the street, bought him a meal and watched him scarf it down. She listened as he said he had been waiting for his VA benefits to kick in and hadn’t eaten in three days.

“Right across the way, UC Berkeley’s dining halls were throwing away thousands of pounds of food,” Ahmad said. “It was then I realized I could serve my country in a very impactful way.”

Now 26, Ahmad went on to found Copia, a food recovery business that builds on the ideas behind and Uber to connect, in real time, those with excess food to those in need of it, writes Alec Rosenberg on the University of California website.

“We can use technology to order food,” Ahmad said. “Why can’t we use it to improve the lives of hundreds of millions of people? In a world with so much abundance, talent, innovation and money, no one should go hungry.”

She’s one of several UC-educated millennial social entrepreneurs who are cooking up solutions to the problem of hunger in America. They are among the winners of the inaugural UC Global Food Initiative 30 Under 30 Awards, honoring 30 young innovators trailblazing to solve the global food crisis.

Read more about Ahmad and other winners on the UC news site