For every box that a customer purchases, an additional two pounds of food gets donated to area nonprofits, like Moveable Feast or the Maryland Food Bank, or helps Hungry Harvest host free farmers’ markets in places like West Baltimore. To date, the company has 700 active subscribers.
“Our biggest hurdle is explaining what surplus produce is and convincing people that it’s fresh,” Lutz says. “In reality, it’s a lot of food that get rejected due to odd shape or size, or just at random. A lot of our produce is fresher than what you get at the grocery store because it hasn’t been sitting out.”
The company’s real test will come when Shark Tank stars decide if it’s investment-worthy. Lutz pitched them back in June and said that it was a nerve-wracking experience.
“I do press and talk to investors all the time, but this was a little different,” he says with a laugh. “You’re standing in front of five famous people, while 8 million more people are watching, trying to convince them to give you money. It’s not easy.”
Obviously Lutz could not reveal the outcome of his pitch, but he says he “nailed it.” “We’ll have to see what editing does. While it’s a real negotiation, it’s still reality TV. It’s their job to keep it dramatic.”
Watch all the dramatics unfold this Friday at 9 p.m. In the meantime, you can support Hungry Harvest, which, to date, has donated more than 100,000 pounds of food to those in need.