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Apps to the rescue

THERE is a rise in socially responsible initiatives by Malaysians which now make doing good easier than ever.
More and more apps and websites are being created to support campaigns and programmes that tackle issues such as poverty, education and deforestation in Malaysia, and who knows, perhaps even the world.
Redza Shahid wants to reduce, if not eradicate, food wastage. He is already on the right path with Grub Cycle, a social enterprise that raises awareness on the issue, and makes surplus food accessible at a bargain price.
It started with a chance meeting with three similar-minded ­individuals at a charity event two years ago. They all came from ­different professional backgrounds, but with a mutual aim to make a difference in the world, and encourage others to do the same.
“We discussed several ideas that we thought would make the most impact, and realised that there aren’t that many social enterprises that champion no food wastage. It is an important issue that is often overlooked and we wanted to do something about it,” said Grub Cycle co-founder Redza.
They took their idea to MaGIC (Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre) and received a RM30,000 grant to work on an app which eventually became Grub Cycle. So far, the team has received almost RM1mil in grants from ­several organisations that believe in their cause, which they have used to cover costs and expand their business.

Users can download the free Grub Cycle app on their Android or iOS devices, or go to the website (grubcycle.my). So far the app has almost 1,000 downloads with 40% returning customers.
Grub Cycle currently has four segments: Grub Groceries, Grub Home Made, Grub Bites and Grub Bag.
“With Grub Groceries, users can purchase surplus food products, items that are still in good to favourable conditions, and mostly found in ‘reduced to clear’ shelves,” shared Redza, who assured that the team checks on product packaging to ensure that the items aren’t too “damaged”.
The products will be delivered anywhere within the Klang Valley, and Redza said that they are planning to expand their venture to Penang, Sarawak, Johor and Singapore soon.
Grub Home Made features a selection of jams and kimchi made from surplus fruits and vegetables, while Grub Bites allows food ­business owners to sell their excess food at a discounted price.
“Users will get a notification on their app if a cafe lists its food. Using the generated code, ­customers will then be able to ­purchase the food at a cheaper price and even receive statistics on how much money they are saving,” said Redza.
Since its inception, Grub Cycle has been able to save 1,100kg of food from going to waste.

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