B-Shares: A Bicycle Delivery Service That Helps Feed the Hungry

Posted by GOOD

Oregon has been ranked among the hungriest states by the USDA for years. It's not that the state doesn't grow enough food, though. The problem is transportation. Food kitchens and nonprofits often don't have the resources to collect surplus bread and vegetables from local grocers, restaurants, and farmers' markets.

To solve this problem, Franklin Jones, the owner of a bicycle delivery service called B-Line, started B-Shares, a program that lets him use his fleet of bicycles and trailers to fill this niche. Through B-Line, you can buy a "B-share" for $20. B-Line then uses that money to pick up 40 meals worth of surplus food from local sources such as New Seasons Market, Dave's Killer Bread, and R & K Foods, and deliver it to a local food assistance provider.

The idea was tested in a pilot program over the summer, and it worked. B-Line delivered more than 3,500 pounds of food. Bikes, as it turns out, can provide an important link between good, surplus food that would otherwise get wasted and the people who need it.