Maria Rose Belding's database alerts the right people to potential donations.

By F&W Editors
Updated May 23, 2017
Courtesy of L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth and Nilaya Sabnis

All month long, we're laser focused on preventing food waste in the kitchen with weekly chef tips and even a whole Thanksgiving menu that uses up every bit of your ingredients. Wasted food takes up over 20 percent of U.S. landfills and one young woman making a difference beyond the home earns our pick for #WCW. One of ten 2015 honorees for L’Oreal’s Women of Worth initiative—which has been awarding donations to inspiring women for the last decade—Maria Rose Belding is up for the chance to win an extra $25,000 toward her cause. As an American University student, she created MEANS (Matching Excess And Need for Stability), a database that connects donors to food banks in need.

According to Belding, it's really difficult to get in contact with pantries: More than 35 percent of food banks have contact info that's out of date. MEANS alerts the right people to potential donations via a notification system now active in 15 states. Pantries claim offerings depending on need and resources. Watch the clip below to find out more and go to the Women of Worth hub to vote for the woman you believe is making the biggest difference her community. Voting ends November 20 and the National Honoree will be announced at a celebration on December 1 in New York City.