A Letter of Gratitude from Imperfect’s Co-Founder

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Several years ago, my cofounder, Ben Chesler, and I had an idea to reduce food waste by working directly with farmers to get their ugly and surplus fruits and vegetables into peoples’ homes. That idea has grown into a national movement and I’m proud and inspired by all of the people who have accompanied us on this journey and have helped grow this idea beyond our wildest dreams. 

Imperfect has reached soaring heights, with over 200,000 customers across 25 markets who have come together to rescue over 40 million pounds of food. Our community has helped us donate 3 million pounds of food to over 100 food banks and non-profits, and has supported over 200 growers to ensure they’re getting a fair price for everything they grow—even their curvy cucumbers and undersized apples. Our recovery has even expanded beyond produce to include grocery items that would otherwise head to the waste-stream due to mislabeling, breakdowns in the supply chain, and upcoming “best-by” and “sell-by” dates.

A couple weeks ago, I let our Board know that due to some growing health concerns they should begin a search for a new CEO. Without going into detail, I’ve had some pretty serious chronic health issues that have, for years, taken a backseat to different causes I’ve worked on. I’ve had a few new setbacks and challenges crop up in the last year and made the incredibly difficult decision to take time off to focus on reversing these issues. 

I want to give a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of our customers for believing in our mission and joining us in the fight against food waste. I’m also eternally grateful to our 1,000+ employees who live our mission every day, from our Warehouse and Delivery teams, to Customer Care, to all of our HQ employees. There are so many talented people contributing to Imperfect’s growth and success that I’m confident this is only the start of something that will continue to revolutionize the way we think about and relate to food and waste in this country.

As I reflect on where this all began, as a student at the University of Maryland, I never would’ve imagined that our ambitious volunteer efforts to recover wasted food from the cafeteria and redistribute it to those in need could 8 years later spur a national movement with the reach, depth, and influence of Imperfect. 

With the company in great hands, I’ll be stepping back while staying involved on the Board. I will continue to be Imperfect’s biggest cheerleader, watching proudly as the company continues to touch lives and change our food system for the better. 

With gratitude,

Ben Simon

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