We saw the problems on campus with the amount of food being thrown out by the UTD catering services at networking events, so we decided to do a web app that would attempt to redirect the amount of waste being produced and turn it into something positive for everyone.
What our product is
We are Foodbox, a product that aims to reduce the amount of consumable food wasted annually. By producing a food box that enables hotels, restaurants, catering companies, and other food-centered businesses to donate their excess food-to-food banks, and homeless shelters, we are reducing the impact of wasted consumable food and addressing the issue of hunger in our communities. The way our product works is, at the end of the day, businesses will place all their excess food in the Foodbox. In order to get the food over to the correct shelter or food bank, the Foodbox will work in conjunction with an app that connects the nearest driver (volunteer) with a box and to the nearest shelter/food bank that needs the donation (in a sense similar to how the Ubereats model works). The driver will then take the food over to the institution and deliver the food. In the event the place is closed, the receiving institution will also have a Foodbox where they can receive the donations. In order to make sure the food stays in the right hands and gets to the necessary recipients, the Foodbox will come with security measures implemented. Businesses, shelters, and food banks will have physical keys that will allow them to open and close their respective food boxes. The drivers that will deliver the food will be given a unique pin’s in order to open and close the Foodbox when delivering the food. In order to incentivize businesses and individuals to use the product, transactions completed using the service will be tax deductible. The drivers will be volunteers and will be able to write off their time, gas, and other expenses accumulated while delivering food.
We are creating a system to combat the impact of wasted consumable food while addressing the issue of hunger. According to the U.S Department of Agriculture and Environmental Protection Agency, we waste 133 Billion Pounds of food every year. That accounts for almost 40% of the food produced in the US. All that food wasted contributed to the ever-growing concern of pollution, depletion of resources, and many other environmental factors. By being able to reduce the amount of food wasted and increasing efficiency we will be combating that issue. If we can reduce the amount of food wasted, much of that food can be donated and given to those truly in need, thus reducing the issue of hunger.
Why we are passionate about this
Hunger is a real issue. It affects every community in the world and the US. Food is one of the most basic necessities. Not having access to food security affects every aspect of one's life. Children that come from non-food secure homes don’t perform as well academically as other children; they worry more about getting a meal rather than an education in school. Parents that cannot provide enough food for a family often go without eating to let their children eat, thus affecting their ability to work. Homeless, beg for food, and dumpster dive, searching for scraps and leftovers trying to find something to eat, a very inhumane situation. Hunger is a silent issue, you don’t always see it or hear people talk about it, but it’s always there. We feel that no person should have to suffer when there is more than enough food for everyone to go around. If we can develop a product that can address this issue, then we are making a contribution to the world.