With the Midwest Food Recovery Summit agenda out, we are excited to share about the events taking place during the two-and-a-half day event, in particular, the Innovator Lightning Round.


Through the agenda planning part of the summit, we have learned about so many awesome organizations and businesses that are being truly innovative in reducing food waste or improving food recovery and wanted a way for them to share their innovations with the summit audience.

So from 1:00-2:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 7, eight innovative companies and organizations from throughout the Midwest will present flash presentations about the ways they have figured out to prevent, reduce, recover, and/or recycle food that would have otherwise been thrown away. These speedy presentations will be just the way everybody likes them, short, sweet and to the point. Come partake in a fun afternoon that will leave you feeling inspired to be inventive when it comes to food waste reduction!

The Innovators

  • Healthy Food for All (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Chris Brockel, Healthy Food for All Project Coordinator/Operations Coordinator at FEED Kitchens

    • Healthy Food for All is a food recovery effort program seeking to help their very own community members. They gather, clean and repackage food from farms and corporate cafeterias to then distribute to the food pantries and neighborhoods throughout Madison. Their mission is to ensure all children and families can access affordable and healthy food options with endeavors in obtaining healthier lifestyles.  

  • KinoSol (Ames, IA)

    • Presenter: Mikayla Sullivan

    • KinoSol is a company striving to end food waste by the invention of the Orenda, a solar powered food dehydrator intended for subsistence farmers located all over the world. Not only does an Orenda reduce food waste, but increases the food nutrients in every fruit, vegetable and grain that is dried. This company strongly values sustainability and hopes you can sponsor an Orenda to a subsistence farmer in need.

  • Ugly Apple Cafe (Madison, WI)

    • Presenter: Laurel Burleson, Chef/Owner

    • If you are looking for a fast and fresh breakfast that is served all day long then Ugly Apple Cafe is the place to go. Ugly Apple Cafe is a food cart company with the intentions of limiting food waste by using local farmer’s overstock produce. Ugly Apple Cafe also wholeheartedly commits to help Madison’s less fortunate get the food they need.

  • Compost Connect (Milwaukee, WI)

    • Presenter: Harini Aiyer, Founder & CEO

    • Compost Connect is an online platform that connects urban residents with local compost haulers to promote food waste diversion. It actively promotes the importance of composting and encourages everyone to grow with their company by finding a local compost hauler to dump empty scraps. Compost Connect strives to “put the planet before profit.”

  • Quad Cities Food Hub (Davenport, IA)

    • Presenter: Liz Hogan, Operations Director

    • The Quad Cities Food Hub is a  bi-state initiative that connects farmers and consumers in Iowa and Illinois in an effort to augment regional local food production and consumption. The Quad Cities Food Hub helps to meet the health, social, economic and environmental needs of communities within that region. The organization is part of a network of Regional Food System Working Groups in the state of Iowa.

    • Presenters: Jodi & Lee Wulfekuhle, Owner

    • Ultra Compost, located in the heart of Iowa and family operated company, can provide you with all of your organic plant food needs. It is a composting product in the form of bagged plant food. Using Ultra Compost reduces the fertilizers and pesticides many use to grow their lawn or plants. Instead, this product allows you to save time and money all while improving low quality soils in your very own yards. It is “composting without the mess”.

Registration is still open to attend the Midwest Food Recovery Summit. The Innovator Lightning Round is sandwiched between two keynote presentations, 17 breakout sessions, and a really cool cooking competition! Visit https://iwrc.uni.edu/foodrecoverysummit/agenda to check out the full agenda and register!

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