Food Cowboy uses mobile technology to safely route surplus food from wholesalers and restaurants to food banks and soup kitchens instead of landfills.

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Solutions for ALL

Drivers & Shippers

Nobody likes wasting food. But when a delivery get rejected, it’s a whole lot easier to find a dumpster than a food bank – especially in the middle of night hundreds of miles from home. We know because we’ve been there. Food Cowboy was co-founded by Richard Gordon, a trucker who’s been pulling produce for 25 years. It works just like those apps that help you find restaurants or that can call you a taxi when you don’t even know where you are. Simply start the Food Cowboy app and and tell us what you need to get off your truck and where you’re headed and we’ll help you find a charity close-by or along your route. If we can’t, we’ll steer you to a composter or a farmer. Either way, the food won’t end up in a landfill and you’ll be back on the road ASAP. Plus, we’ll send you the paperwork so the grower can claim valuable tax benefits.


The warehouse manager just told you not to take that last pallet of tomatoes off the truck – too ripe he says. So you post them on Food Cowboy, saying you’re leaving for Abilene at 3 AM. Then you crawl in back and go to sleep. When you wake up you’ve got messages from three food banks along the way offering to take the tomatoes off your hands. One will even meet you at a truckstop and throw in a coupon for a free breakfast. We have a winner! Both you and the shipper will be credited with the donation.


You shipped 20 pallets of strawberries to five customers in three states last night. Unfortunately, a few boxes on one pallet got crushed so the first customer rejected the whole pallet. You know the others will too. Fuel is expensive so ordinarily you’d tell the driver to dump it before getting back on the road but the driver now has standing orders to try Food Cowboy first. He just enters his next destination and describes the kicked shipment and the system will help him find a charity along his route to donate it to. When he does, not only will you get a special tax deduction but the driver will get to take credit too.


You are expecting ten tons of organic green beans to be delivered a little after midnight when you get an alert from a sensor in the refrigerated trailer. The temperature has been above 38 degrees for two hours. That’s going to affect shelf-life so you won’t have as much time to move them. You send a message to the selling broker. “I can take half but you might want to put the rest on Food Cowboy. You can leave it here until 8 AM if you get a local taker.” The truck is still a few hours away so, if the local food bank is on Food Cowboy, it should get the alert in time. If it does, you, the driver, and the grower will all get to take credit.

Food Bank Sourcing Managers

You’re a food bank manager, it’s past midnight, and you can’t sleep. Christmas was weeks ago and donations have dried up but you still have families to feed. Then you get a text message asking whether you can open your warehouse early to accept two pallets of tomatoes that were rejected by a distributor because they were too ripe. You smile and hit “OK”


Americans spend twice as much to buy the food they end up wasting than the federal government spends on food stamps. In fact, restaurants and supermarkets generate enough surplus fresh and prepared food every day to feed all the hungry people in your community. They just can’t get it to where it needs to go in time. Food Cowboy already helps truckers find food banks when they need to dispose of “ugly” fruits and vegetables. Now we’re partnering with local charities to rescue food locally and you can be part of the solution.

Supermarket Produce Managers

It’s Thursday afternoon and you’re packing up produce you know won’t sell. When you’re through, you open the Food Cowboy app on your phone and hit the blue “Donate Food” button. You’ve got lettuce, broccoli, apples and tomatoes so you select “Mixed” on the Food Type menu and under Quantity you enter “4 cases”.

You are expecting a big delivery tomorrow morning so you set a six-hour pickup window beginning immediately. After looking over the produce once more you tick the “Apparently Wholesome” box and then tap “Submit”.

Food Bank Sourcing Managers

You are taking inventory when you receive a donation alert from a supermarket across the county. After thinking for a moment, you forward the email to a nearby pantry that you know is running low on produce. If you don’t hear back from them within the hour, you’ll follow up by phone or offer the donation to another agency.

Later that afternoon, you get copied on a donation receipt, which means the food has been picked up. You click on the link at the bottom to go to the supermarket’s Yelp page, where you post a short note: “Thanks for the four boxes of fresh produce!”

Restaurant Managers

Tomorrow is delivery day and you need to clear out the cooler. You pack up the week’s extras and post the two boxes on Food Cowboy. An hour later one of your regulars responds saying she can pick up them up after work and take them to the domestic violence shelter she volunteers at. You click “OK.” When it’s delivered, your bookkeeper will receive an electronic receipt and there’ll be a nice little “Thank You” on Yelp.


You are at the supermarket when your phone buzzes: “Can you take 3 boxes of apples to  the firehouse at 19th & Folsom?” The produce manager knows they won’t sell so she’s posted them on Food Cowboy. It’s a few blocks from your house so you press “OK.”

Tomorrow, kids will be able to pick up a snack on their way home from school. Later, you see a thank you note from the principal on your Facebook wall and receive an e-coupon for a free latte at Starbucks in your inbox.

Event Planners

The wedding went off without a hitch. Everyone had a good time – only one thing left to do: You give the caterer the nod. She does a quick inventory, enters a few numbers on her phone, and presses “Ready for Pick Up.” A few minutes later, an SUV quietly rolls up to take the unserved food to a local soup kitchen.

Meet the Founders

Roger Gordon

Roger Gordon, President

Roger Gordon, JD, MBA, is an experienced entrepreneur who has been involved in numerous ventures that overlap the public and private sectors.  In 2014, Fast Company named him to its list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business.  He has worked as a management consultant in London and Sydney and is the founder of the company that broke the bank monopoly on operating ATMs in the United Kingdom.  Read More

Barbara Cohen, Executive Vice President

Barbara Cohen, Ph.D., MPH, is a public health and nutrition expert, has addressed issues of hunger, food insecurity, nutrition, and the relationship between food and health outcomes, at both national and local levels. She was part of a small group of academic and policy leaders who worked to move the national discussion from one of hunger to food security and developed measures now used on national and international population- based surveys. Read More

Barbara Cohen

Richard Gordon, VP, Supply Chain

Richard Gordon has over 25 years of experience as a trucking entrepreneur instructor-trainer, and terminal manager. He transported fresh produce almost exclusively for 16 years and has been called upon by FEMA to respond to every hurricane disaster since 1992. He spent six months on the Gulf Coast transporting humanitarian and oil field supplies after Hurricane Katrina and both he and Roger responded to Hurricane Sandy.  Over the years, they have  rescued many tons of fresh produce.

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