Check out our iOS Video Demo as well!
Over 9.1 million people die from hunger every year. In the United States alone, 1 in 6 do not have the means of getting the food they need. On top of that, food waste accounted for 133 billion pounds of universal waste, totaling $161 billions worth of food. A 2014 study by the Food Waste Alliance revealed that the restaurant sector disposes of 84.3% of their food, while 14.3% is recycled, and only 1.4% is donated. This reluctance or negligence to donate food can be attributed to a variety of reasons, one of which is the lack of convenience or maybe even a lack of knowledge.
Numerous non-profit organizations have already set up means to avoid food waste but they fail to address the issue of convenience. Non-profit events and festivals are organized to donate food to those in need, but fail to address the daily wastage of food by restaurants and supermarkets.
Munchly is an interactive web and iOS application designed to bridge the food gap between the wastage of food by restaurants/supermarkets and low-income citizens/non-profit organizations. Munchly utilizes a minimalistic, user-friendly interface in order to help both users and businesses connect with each other in minutes. Restaurants can set up a meeting time with our screened low-income users as well as non-profit organizations in order to minimize waste as well as earn points for their restaurant! Munchly incorporates a point system gamification based on the number of pounds a restaurant donates; These points can be used to redeem prizes by future non-profit sponsors. The user can then see a list of available food donation queries and accept on the user-end of the application.
Munchly is different from the other applications because of the point system gamification, as well as the food being free of cost. Existing apps do not have gamification in check and restaurants also do not give out the food for free. Future plans could include partnering up with organizations like the ADA or Heartshare to provide prizes for dedicated users. This gives restaurants incentive to use the app, and also to help everyone else out with food they don't necessarily need.
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We had a small team, and we didn't have too much programming experience. On top of that, two of our teammates left on the first night :(. But we spent the night grinding and asking questions and finally created a working product!
What's next for Munchly
One of the most important and difficult objectives is increase the number of business participants as well as figure out where to get sponsors for these restaurants. We also plan to look into machine-learning in order to validate paystubs seamlessly. In order to work towards a more sustainable environment, the platform has to work with a substantial number of businesses as well as low-income users. In the future, we hope to expand to composting and recycling as well, to minimize all food waste in general.
We were deciding between the names Foodly and Munchly, and ultimately decided with Munchly :).