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Bay Area Teen Takes Innovative Approach To Helping The Hungry

LOS GATOS (KCBS) – A Bay Area teenager, who has figured out a unique way to feed thousands of hungry people in Silicon Valley, is now expanding his innovative program to San Francisco.

It's called Waste No Food, started by Kiran Sridhar when he was just 12. The program connects restaurants that have extra food with charities that need it.  He said one-third of California's food goes to waste.

"Restaurants, they sometimes have a banquet and overcook. Grocery stores have food that's expired," said Sridhar. "And farms don't want to pay for the cost of harvesting food that they don't know that they can sell, so they literally leave it lying on the farms."

KCBS' Doug Sovern Reports:

Sridhar is now 14 and a freshman at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco. He said that 11 million Californians are "food insecure." When he saw that hunger firsthand, volunteering at Glide Memorial Church, he founded Waste No Hunger, linking nine restaurants and a farm to two local organizations that distribute leftovers to shelters. So far, he's helped to feed 4,000 people.

"When you're hungry, that is your primary focus, figuring out what your next meal is going to be," he said. "But when you have your needs for food met, than you can actually be a positive contributor to the community and to the economy."

Michelin-starred restaurants Manresa and Dio Deka in Los Gatos, and Plumed Horse in Saratoga have already signed on as restaurant donors.

Now, Sridhar is working on signing up businesses to expand his leftover network into San Francisco. You can go to his website, for more information.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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