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Meet Goodr, the Atlanta Startup Solving Hunger’s Big Logistics Problem

How Jasmine Crowe’s broader mission informs day‑to‑day operations and keeps the community engaged.

Today, people know Jasmine Crowe as a founder, a CEO, a TED speaker, and a social entrepreneur. Her company has provided millions of meals to those in need—and stopped millions of pounds of food waste from going to landfills. But the Atlanta native was a resourceful problem solver long before she racked up accolades as the founder of Atlanta-based Goodr. She’d been running pop-up restaurants to feed people experiencing homelessness in cities like New York, New Orleans, Washington, and Baltimore for 3 years when a video from one of her events went viral in 2016. “I woke up one morning to millions of views and friend requests,” she recalls. “And one of the recurring questions that people kept on commenting was ‘Who donated the food?’”

Jasmine had been couponing for discount ingredients and preparing the meals herself, even at times when she wasn’t sure where her next meal was coming from. The questions changed her perspective. “I started to think about how many more people I'd be able to feed if I could get this food donated; I started to look into food waste,” she says. She was floored. There was a lot of extra food—but most companies were sending their leftovers to landfills. Discovering this introduced a larger question: “How do we get this food, food that's otherwise going to waste, to people instead?”

"Hunger is not an issue of scarcity, but really a matter of logistics."

Jasmine Crowe, Founder and CEO of Goodr

With Goodr, the early-stage startup she founded in 2017 to fight hunger from a waste-management perspective, Jasmine seeks to answer that question with better logistics. Customers like Porsche, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport, and the Georgia World Congress Center partner with Goodr to reduce food waste, make a difference in their communities, and, in some cases, claim significant tax benefits. “Hunger is not an issue of scarcity, but really a matter of logistics,” Jasmine explains.

By making the most of surplus food—one of the main components clogging our landfills—she and her staff are solving a distinctly human issue by tackling an environmental one. “What we tell our customers is that with Goodr, we can keep all of this amazing food that you have been producing out of the landfill,” she explains. “If it's edible, we're going to get it to people in need. If it's not edible, we're going to get it to compost or recycle it and turn it into animal feed.”

Mailchimp caught up with Jasmine to talk about how Goodr keeps people and the planet at the forefront of its mission. Here, the CEO shares her approach to raising capital, company culture, and community—and how those values Goodr embraces can help promote customer engagement and long-term growth.

Surround yourself with people who share your vision—then involve them in your decisions

As Goodr grows, Jasmine is focused on getting the funding she needs to expand her team and scale operations to new markets. But she’s not just looking for cash: Jasmine told us that along the way, she’s rejected funding from sources that seem more focused on satisfying their diversity commitments than advancing Goodr’s mission. “For me, as a Black woman, it was really important that I wasn't just checking a box for an investor—that they understand that no matter what color I am, I have built a really successful business that is going to change the world,” she says. “I wanted them to be invested in what I was doing.”

Assembling a mission-minded network, from investors to employees to supporters, allows Goodr to consider a variety of viewpoints when charting its future. “We do surveys on a monthly basis to understand what it is that our customers would like to see, but also what our employees would like to see,” says Jasmine. This respect for individual perspectives and preferences extends to the people Goodr serves at pop-ups and public-facing events, too.

“For our pop-up grocery stores, we go into food deserts and bring in groceries so families can shop for free,” Jasmine says. “We try to really focus on dignity, so we provide everybody with choices. Are there vegan items? Are there items that are seafood-only, or don't have pork? Is there almond milk, dairy milk? Families get an opportunity to pick whatever it is that they like.” Whether she's outlining new goals for the business or stocking the shelves for an upcoming pop-up, Jasmine deliberately honors a broad range of perspectives in her work—and if Goodr's success is any indication, it's earned her the respect and trust of many in return.

Stick to your values (even when no one’s looking)

Goodr’s business model has helped large corporate clients minimize food waste. Using Goodr's proprietary technology, businesses can track their overall inventory and request pickups for any extra food. This system can alert businesses to inefficiencies while diverting excesses to the best use possible. And although they have some pretty high-profile success stories—Goodr reported helping concessionaires at the Atlanta airport reduce food waste by 47% and claim $200,000 in tax benefits in just six months — the company takes those values seriously in-house, too. “We measure our own carbon footprint,” says Jasmine. “We want to make sure that we are not ever moving food further than needed from where we recovered it. For every customer we have, we find 3 to 5 nonprofits in the vicinity that can receive the food so it doesn't have to travel far.”

Goodr’s technology—an app first developed at a hackathon Jasmine entered in 2016—tracks how many pounds of food the company diverts from landfills and how many meals have been provided to those in need. Goodr is also a B Corp and must meet stringent certification requirements around social and environmental impact. But respect for the earth shows up in day-to-day moments at the company, too. “If you were ever to come to Goodr's office, we compost here. We have recycling bins. People will really almost hold it against you if you throw anything away,” says Jasmine. “I think that's important, to lead by example. We started with food, but the big vision is that we can help customers think about how they can keep everything out of a landfill.”

Share the journey with your community

Goodr may have grown far beyond Jasmine’s one-woman events, but the enthusiasm and engagement around her core mission remains. “What resonates most is that we're feeding people,” says Jasmine. Goodr uses Mailchimp newsletter templates and segments to keep in touch with customers, supporters, and beneficiaries of the food donations and pop-ups. Whether Goodr is sharing a new initiative, like free grocery stores in schools, or holding themselves accountable with statistics and achievements, Goodr delivers regular email updates on the goings-on and milestones that the company is reaching. This includes the company’s impact on both the local community and the earth at large.

“I want to be known as a company that really cares about our planet and cares about people equally,” says Jasmine. That starts within. “Some people get too wrapped up in optics. It doesn't matter how other people see you. It’s really how you see yourself.”

As Jasmine’s company strikes its own careful balance between profit and purpose, it’s showing companies of all sizes that socially responsible decisions can help benefit the bottom line. Sometimes, saving the planet can be as simple as caring for your neighbor—and for Goodr and its growing customer list, there’s plenty of good will to go around.

Published: April 25, 2022

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