Student Startups: App Aims to End Food Waste, Feed Families


Justin Ehlert, founder of Fridgely, is sick of wasting food.


The Fridgely app helps you know when food is about to expire. (Photos courtesy Fridgely)

The Fridgely app is a food expiration date tracker that reminds you when food is going to expire, allowing you to use it before it does.

Ehlert’s currently crowdfunding on SPURstartup (view here) to raise funds to improve Fridgely while also feeding families across North Texas.

A senior computer science major at the University of Texas at Dallas, Ehlert is the founder of Jump Space Apps, University Eats, and Fridgely. When he’s not developing you can find him on the baseball field, where he serves as a student coach for the baseball team.

We asked Ehlert about his passions, inspiration, and aspirations to change the way people think about food.

How does your campaign give back to the local community?

“One of the awesome things about my campaign is that I’m donating meals to the North Texas Food Bank for every pledge. This means that my backers are not only helping me, but they are helping feed underprivileged families and children as well. Food waste affects everyone, and it’s important to be able to help out those around us as well.”

What inspired you to start Fridgely?

“I was tired of opening my fridge and seeing so much expired food. I was living in an apartment with three other male college roommates. As you can imagine, our fridge was pretty disgusting. Food would get pushed to the back and I would quickly forget what food I had. Then I would discover it later after it had already expired. This waste of food and money really annoyed me, and I wanted to come with a system that would remind me when my food was going to expire.”

Why are you passionate about helping people waste less food?

“The food we don’t eat and throw away ends up in our landfills and negatively impacts our planet.” — Justin Ehlert

“Food waste not only hurts us, but it hurts the environment as well. The food we don’t eat and throw away ends up in our landfills and negatively impacts our planet. By eating the food we already have we also cut down on our dependence for food. When someone is trying to decide whether or not they want to get fast food after work, Fridgely will remind them that they have leftovers that are going to expire soon. Hopefully this makes the user chose to eat the leftovers instead. This keeps excess food from being thrown away and helps save that person money.”

What would having a successful campaign do to help Fridgely and the fight towards food waste?

“Helping Fridgely through the campaign would allow me to build out the last couple of features that will really make Fridgely an amazing application. These features are mainly centered around the ability to scan the barcode of an item and immediately get an estimated expiration date, this would make the item entering process significantly faster for our users. The donations would also help me build out a system where you can simply take a picture of our receipt from the grocery store and have all of your food automatically added into the app.”

To see Justin’s campaign for Fridgely, click here!

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R E A D   N E X T

As a co-founder of SPURstartup, Maggie leads strategy, operations, curriculum and business development. She brings diverse business aptitude from her degree in entrepreneurship and her previous work a(...)