Since 2015, Imperfect has donated over 3 million pounds of fruits and vegetables to food banks and nonprofits across the country.
Imperfect eliminates food waste by giving a home to the more than 20% of produce that doesn’t make it off the farm. These fruits and veggies aren’t thrown away due to taste, but because they don’t meet the grocery store cosmetic standards. Imperfect packages and delivers the slightly flawed produce to customers’ doors for about 30% less than grocery store prices.
“There is enough food to feed everyone, but we often just throw things away because it has a blemish on it, which is crazy,” said Jeff Joslyn, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Food Resource Manager.
In just eight months, Imperfect has donated over 7,400 pounds of produce to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. A representative from Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin picks up the donations at Imperfect’s Wisconsin base in St. Francis. These donations are composed of the produce that aren’t sold to customers. Imperfect also donates extra boxes, which are used to package other items for food pantries.
“The boxes are like gold to us in terms of allowing us to sort canned goods,” Joslyn said.
People that meet the income qualifications for SNAP or FoodShare are eligible for Imperfect’s Reduced Cost Box Program, which takes 33% off every order. This works out to buying produce at less than half of grocery store prices.
“What we are trying to do overall is fight food waste, but also build a better food system,” said Alyssa Seibert, Imperfect Produce’s Social Impact and Sustainability Manager. “We are creating more opportunities to buy healthy food at an affordable price for households across the country. Food goes to waste due to inefficiencies in the food system.”
Imperfect recently expanded to offer pantry items like rice, pasta, olive oil, chips, and granola bars. Similar to the produce, these “Imperfect Picks” have slight defects that don’t compromise on quality or taste. Additionally, Imperfect plans to offer refrigerated items in the near future.
“We hope to eventually have customers get all their food from us to eliminate the carbon footprint from traveling to the stores,” Seibert said. “It is cool to work at such an innovative company that is adapting to make the most impact.”