IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Estimating surplus food supply for food rescue and delivery operations


  • Nair, Divya J.
  • Rashidi, Taha Hossein
  • Dixit, Vinayak V.


Hunger remains a largely hidden social problem in many developed nations. The not-for-profit food rescue organizations, aid in alleviating hunger, by rescuing the surplus food from different food providers and re-distributing to people in need. However, surplus food donation is a random process which varies with regard to quantity, time and place. Understanding the dynamics of food recovery and forecasting food donations using historical information has significant importance in inventory management and redistribution, particularly in reducing operational costs and achieving a sustainable and equitable distribution of inventory incorporating uncertainties in supply. This paper uses different modelling techniques including multiple linear regression, structural equation modelling and neural networks to explore the patterns and dynamics of food donation and distribution process for one of the largest food rescue organization in Australia. A set of significant indicators has been identified to describe the current food donation process, to predict daily average food donated by different food providers and also to anticipate the potential donation from a new donor which may appear in the network in the future. Results suggest that structural equation modelling and neural networks provide improved demand estimation when compared to conventional multiple linear regression. We also discuss the usefulness of these models in sustainable and equitable management of food recovery and redistribution.

Suggested Citation

  • Nair, Divya J. & Rashidi, Taha Hossein & Dixit, Vinayak V., 2017. "Estimating surplus food supply for food rescue and delivery operations," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 73-83.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:57:y:2017:i:c:p:73-83
    DOI: 10.1016/j.seps.2016.09.004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Davis, Lauren B. & Sengul, Irem & Ivy, Julie S. & Brock, Luther G. & Miles, Lastella, 2014. "Scheduling food bank collections and deliveries to ensure food safety and improve access," Socio-Economic Planning Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 175-188.
    2. Robert W. Lien & Seyed M. R. Iravani & Karen R. Smilowitz, 2014. "Sequential Resource Allocation for Nonprofit Operations," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 62(2), pages 301-317, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:soceps:v:57:y:2017:i:c:p:73-83. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.