Food waste in modern households is a significant problem. Just last year, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics, found that the average U.S. household wasted almost one-third of their food. And in Canada, over 10 billion dollars of food is lost at the consumer level.
When we looked at these statistics, we thought about how our own families throw away food. Every week, leftovers are dumpstered. Every month, food bought sitting in our fridges and pantries go bad because we’d bought too much. We also considered the many talented home cooks that exist, such as our parents.
This gave us the idea of creating Kichen, a virtual marketplace where home cooks can sell new meals or the excess of previous meals, and hungry buyers can purchase them for a low cost.
Kichen addresses the sustainable industrial development goals. The main goal we focused on is responsible consumption and production. Though, it also touches on decent work and economic growth as it transforms home-cooking, generally considered an unproductive economic activity into a productive one. This creates an avenue for people to earn money doing something which they already do and might enjoy with the possibility of alleviating the hunger of those in need.
What it does
Kichen aims to connect homecooks with busy consumers looking for an easy meal. In design, buyers can enter their location and are taken to see listings near their area. From there they can select meals, add them to their cart, and check out.
Furthermore, homecooks who wish to become sellers are able to post new listings, in which then, buyers can easily interact with.
How we built it
Kichen was built using a MERN stack. MongoDB Atlas was used to host a public database Nodejs & Expressjs were used for the backend of the website -> HTTP requests entailed: --> fetching user's public IP address --> posting/fetching items --> creating/fetching/updating carts Reactjs was used to handle the front end
Challenges we ran into
Additionally, refreshing React components upon HTTP requests was also quite difficult (due to our inexperience with the language/technologies)
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Being able to successfully complete all the functionalities that are required of such a website, as well as taking the effort to make it as appealing as possible, something that we are both proud of. This was a huge learning experience, and both of us look forward to developing more full-stack projects in the future.
What we learned
What's next for Kichen
We built a rough blueprint of what Kichen would be. In a deployable version, we will add the ability to create accounts, payments, as well as all the functionalities that come along with sorting the listings.