Apparently, you really can find anything on Craigslist. Just ask Mo Hasan, Vanderbilt's third-string quarterback, who went looking for something to help him in his mission to feed the hungry. He found an old FedEx truck, which Hasan repainted and repurposed by adding a lift-up service window and some appliances. It now sits in his driveway, just around the corner from Vanderbilt Stadium.
The Hunger ReliefMobile, as it's called, is easy to spot. It features the logo of his company, Second Spoon—a pink spoon in the middle of a bright blue circle—and across the bottom, there's an outline of the skyline of Miami, Hasan's hometown.
On weekdays the senior is busy juggling classes, working toward a degree in history and economics, and his football commitments. But every Friday he makes sure the Hunger ReliefMobile makes its way to downtown Nashville, where it carries up to 300 plates of food for the homeless.
The idea for Second Spoon came in 2016, when Hasan, then a freshman at Syracuse, saw how much food was being thrown out from the dining hall. "It was just jarring to me," Hasan says. He rushed home to do some research and was surprised to find that up to 40% of food is wasted in this country, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Hasan decided he wanted to do something about it.
In 2018, Hasan formed Second Spoon, with the idea that he could take some of that food he saw being thrown out and get it to people who need it. With the help of his childhood friend and high school teammate Robert Burns, Hasan raised about $10,000 through fund-raisers and auctions in Miami, money they put toward the truck. They started at the University of Miami, where Burns still runs the food operation, and have continued at Vanderbilt, where Hasan transferred in 2018, with more donations coming in through a GoFundMe account. Second Spoon's fund-raising goal is now $25,000; they hope to expand to more colleges.
The operation is simple: Schools store and freeze excess food every day of the week, and on Friday, student-athlete volunteers gather to fix plates to take on the FedEx truck. The food is nutritious, too. Hasan read up on food banks and learned that most of the meals served there are high in starch and sugar. Second Spoon serves dishes containing grilled chicken, steak and vegetables. "We place a premium on serving healthy food," Hasan says.
The feedback, Hasan says, has been very positive. From the bonding experience he's having with his teammates and other Commodores athletes, to seeing people dance and tell them their life stories after receiving a free meal in downtown Nashville, Hasan has become motivated to grow the company even bigger.
"I have a passion for this kind of thing," he says. "It's been an unbelievable experience, creating a team and learning what works and what doesn't."