Reducing Food Waste by Eliminating Food Insecurity
This was my first design thinking project. It began in Spring 2016 to do good in the NYU community and ended in Summer 2017. The project is also a part of the OpenIDEO Food Waste Alliance.
During Fall 2016, with a new team members, the project took a further step. The team discussed with organizations such as NICE and City Harvest to know about the impacts of sharing leftover food from various events, and how to reach out to the community at large. It turned out that what the project was doing was a noble thing, and the Good Samaritan Laws protected the project from unintended consequences. There was also a suggestion to reframe the problem statement to suit the affordability issues faced by NYU students, when it comes to food.
To test the pilot NYU FREEdge, which was bright and colorful, it was kept outside the cafeteria, and next to the NYU MakerSpace, a place which is always used by students in large numbers. After a small kickoff event, this prototype was left as it was to test for sustainability: if students were willing to use it, and if anyone would be willing to give food.
This recent prototype continued to have the stickers to help the team check for safety and for the users to know when the food was put inside the NYU FREEdge. Many times, the food was open; it was not given in closed containers, so the team also used zip-loc bags to put them in the refrigerator. The bags were again marked with the stickers. This new prototype ran between mid-April and mid- May of 2017.