Over 40% of food in the US in never eaten- that is over $165 billion dollars in waste. Meanwhile, over 42.2 million Americans every year have trouble putting food on the table. In our very own communities, families go without food while individuals and business throw away extras every night. We’ve created a web-based system, Food Connects, which allows individuals and business to help your fellow community members you to do this and rewards you for it too.

Unlike standard food kitchens, Food Connects allows individuals and businesses to give back without leaving the comfort of their home. Let’s say you make dinner and have extra. You would log on to Food Connects and type in the amount of extra meals you have and are willing to donate. Just by doing this you get points saved to your account and can save up these points for various gift cards donated by local businesses. Once the meals are updated, fellow users are notified via email. If a user accepts the pickup request, they will drive to the given location and drop the extra food off at the local food station. The driver will also receive points that can be used towards various gifts. Unlike standard food kitchens, the food connect system allows individuals to donate homemade meals which is prohibited by catering organizations. During standard meal times, those in need of a meal can come to the local station and have the comfort of a homemade meal.

Food Connects includes a notification and a response: There is a position of the drivers and a position of the suppliers. When a supplier has extra food, they log onto their account, tap one of their saved addresses, which immediately emails signed up drivers that there is food available for pickup at that address. Drivers can decide whether to accept the supplier's request. Once the driver accepts the request, other drivers no longer need to pick up food from that address.

In the future, we would make this an app-based software into an app allowing multiple users who can log in as either a driver or a supplier. We would get businesses to sign up to donate gift cards for when members reach a certain amount of points, thereby providing an incentive. Additionally, we would need to establish the local food stations in which the divers would take the donations to. Food Connects will minimize waste,fullfill a lack, and bring community closer together.

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