The COVID-19 pandemic forced farmers to throw food away rather than give it to people who lived in food deserts or people who cannot afford healthy food. After analyzing this, we realized that there are several food deserts across the country and people who do not have access to basic food. Similarly, the United States is the world leader in the amount of food that gets wasted annually. We sought to solve both of these problems by creating RePack.
What it does
RePack connects users to farms and supermarkets that have excess or 'ugly' produce that is healthy and safe to eat, at a reduced price. We will reduce the price by buying in bulk, as well as buying produce that has a slightly shorter shelf life from grocery shops. This will reduce both food waste, as farms and stores will no longer need to throw out as much food, as well as reduce food inequality, as it will help those in food deserts gain access to fresh, nutritious food that they otherwise would have been too far to acquire, or too expensive to buy.
How we built it
We built RePack on Figma, using this design software to help us bring our ideas into prototype reality.
Challenges we ran into
The challenges we ran into were the difficulties of deciding who our stakeholders would be and what problem we would focus on. In the end, we decided to focus on our local community, and emphasizing both health and environmental sustainability. We wanted to combine both comfort and affordability, which was challenging, but we ultimately decided on a twice monthly, and multiple location pickup model in order to try to fit both of those characteristics.
What's next for RePack
For the future, we see this app being useful in providing information regarding gentrified areas and food availability there. We also see a potential of improving the app to include information such as local doctors, safety in the area, etc.