Start-up by College Students Delivers Misshapen Produce to Local Residents

Joyce Er reported recently at the The Chronicle Online (Duke University) that, “Seniors Courtney Bell and Anya Ranganathan believe that our food system is broken—and they’ve started their own company to change that.

Their startup Ungraded Produce obtains misshapen produce from farms in Durham County and delivers boxes of produce to its subscribers’ doorsteps every other week. Customers pay $13 per 10 lb. box, each containing between four and six types of produce.”

The article noted that, “‘We wanted to employ a private-sector solution to address issues of food insecurity and food waste in America,’ Ranganathan said. ‘We picked a private-sector, for-profit route because it’s more inherently sustainable. If you structure the company right, you don’t have to worry about seeking outside funding.’

“Since then, they have worked with the legal clinics at the Duke Law School, as well as the Nicholas School, to formulate their present business model and have received further support from the Innovation & Entrepreneurship program regarding advertising. The duo expressed gratitude for the Duke community and the amount of effort people have been willing to put in to help them succeed. In April, the company was awarded a $5,000 Environmental Innovation and Entrepreneurship Grant from the Nicholas School of the Environment.”

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