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In a very welcome development, an influx of new venture capital is being directed to companies dedicated to the elimination of food waste. According to a recent report by ReFED, more than $125 million has been invested in the category so far in 2018.

Food waste and food access have long been a focus here at Billions Rising–and with an estimated $218 billion of food going to waste each year, that's hardly a surprise. The problem of food waste in particular has now become a hot topic among VC firms, including such major players as S2G Ventures. As pointed out by Chuck Templeton, S2G's Managing Director,"Food waste is a huge problem hidden in plain sight,” and it offers huge potential gains for both investors and the public at la...

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Catherine Garcia Flowers came to Houston following Hurricane Katrina in 2005, a violent storm in which she and her parents both lost their homes. She soon met Pastor Rudy Rasmus, who saw her vast energy and potential as she quickly went to work feeding Houston's hungry and less fortunate.

After Rasmus founded Bread of Life, a nonprofit serving Houston's homeless, they stayed in touch. And when Flowers was considering a move to Honduras years later, he talked her out of it. His reason: Rasmus needed her to take the reins of his growing organization. She agreed–and within just weeks, Hurricane Harvey struck Houston. Her decision was seemingly meant to be, as Flowers was perfectly positioned to help after her experience with Katrina. P...

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How does one go from a successful modeling career to working as a social entrepreneur learning high-end mobile development–all the while attending medical school?

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Food access is a vexing problem, especially in the inner cities, and small business has a critical role to play in providing workable solutions. We've seen scores of hopeful innovations in this area, many aimed at redirecting the tons of food that are wasted in our cities every day.

Entrepreneur Mark Brand knows what it's like to be hungry; he was once homeless himself. And as a chef, he has a unique perspective on the matter: “I believe that food is the conduit to love and to show people that we really deeply care about them and their success. And that every time we do the opposite, it is the opposite. It’s disrespecting people,” he explains.

Brand and his company MBI have created a program that allows people to buy meal...

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Food access in the inner city is a problem that we've long struggled with, and the inability to find anything other than fast food in many of our urban environments is a serious health concern. Thankfully, we've seen some inroads in this area, especially in the world of nonprofits.

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One of the most severe impacts of climate change is the scourge of drought. Drought affects rural farmers' ability to make a living and provide for themselves, and threatens the wider food supply. Solar stills have shown great promise as a way to insure fresh water supplies, but they are typically inefficient. Engineer and social entrepreneur Alessandro Bianciardi has been working on the problem, and has been making immense progress by looking at one of the greatest powers of nature itself: mimicry.

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As a teenager, Francesca Chaney had the dream of opening a vegan café in her neighborhood. She eventually succeeded, opening her restaurant Sol Sips in the Bushwick section of Brooklyn. But challenges were rife, especially in Bushwick, where one in five people are food insecure, and vegan food isn't exactly familiar territory.

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Of all the challenges we face on our planet today, issues of food access and hunger are of foremost concern. Along with inefficient distribution models, waste continues to plague our food systems, and it is estimated that nearly half of our global food supply goes to waste every year. But despair not: some of our best minds, scientists and entrepreneurs alike, are hard at work solving these problems. Today we look at just a few of them.

As reported by Reuters, New York startup Rise has devised a way to make flour out of the left-over barley used to make beer. Previously those “spent” grains went straight to a landfill, at the rate of about 5 million tons a year. Now those grains become flour, flour which can be used to make pi...

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