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Food Connection-An app to send out extra food to the community in order to prevent food wasting

We create the app that connected with restaurants and institutions, in this way to reduce the food waste.

Photo of Esther Li19
27 19

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  • Food waste becomes a global problem nowadays. Our team found that lot of the restaurants prepared too much food and those extra food were wasted. So we decided to launch an App called "food connections" through which it connects restaurants and some food needed institutions, such as churches, charities, etc. The restaurant can use the app to post the amount of extra food with pictures as verification to notify the institution. The app is like SMS, if the institutions need food, they can inform the restaurant and therefor the restaurant can contact us to deliver their food. In this App not only restaurants and institutions can participate in, but also the family can participate in. We want everybody to involve in the food-saving process.
  • We heard about the concern of whether it is legal to donate food from restaurants to institutions? Our team did some research found out it is legal to do the donation.
  • How we deliver the food? That’s the big problem. We think if there is some people can become the volunteer to help us deliver the food or donate money so we can cooperate with some transportation company like Uber, Lyft, etc.. or we can rent some cars and hire some people to it.
  • Food reliability:  Every restaurant has the spirit points that supervise the quality of food and need to attach photos of their food when they post to the announcement. And the institution can add common or send some points to this restaurant when it received the food . If a restaurant has gained a very high score, it can also use this to do some advertisements to win customers, because customers love the high reputation of the restaurant. The point system is to keep check of donators credit.
  • App: Our app has food classification, restaurants, institution and family located classification. It can help you to find what you want and the nearest restaurants and institutions. If you click into our restaurants or institutions, it will give you some detailed informations.
  •  Daily news: We make the daily news to inform people who ordered it with world’s food news and suggestions about how to reduce food waste. The news can include: type of food which was recalled recently, quality of the reservoir,etc. And the money we received from the daily news can be used for the food delivery.
  • Surveys: We also can do some surveys about restaurants and institutions first. This is the suggestion from our commends.  

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

Our team will go to community center and ask them whether they need food. Once there is need for food donation, we will contact the surrounding restaurants for the extra food they would like to donate. Then either the restaurants or our team can deliver the food to the community. We will work with some shuttler and study their food donation process. And we will find some companies which like to cooperate. Our team members will actually visit the restaurants and community centers.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

We would like the OpenIDEO to help us about the founding and advertising. We need someone who can build an app that is easy to use. Also, if the OpenIDEO would like to help our promotion, more people would be informed so we can carry our app in a large scale,and more companies would like to cooperate with us

Tell us about your work experience:

-We are the students in Notre Dame Belmont High School. We were inspired by the food waste problem that discussed in our environmental science class and want to carry out a way to solve this global problem. -Our team members have the experience in graphic design, coding, performing the business proposal for non-profit organization. -And we have the members been working as a volunteer at Mitchell Park Community in Palo Alto; did the interview about food waste in Avanti Pizza store.

This idea emerged from

  • A student collaboration

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s just been created! It’s existed for 1 day - 1 month


Join the conversation:

Photo of Brian Tang

Hi Esther Li19  and Beckie Wei  - love the idea, especially that it is coming from high school students !

Would be great to get your input on our Be an Urban and Suburban Food Donor and Rescuer... Pokemon Go style!  idea- we are originally piloting with fruit, but believe there are lots of synergies with your idea focussed on restaurants. We are already in discussions with crowdmapping software platforms, and it would be great to find ways to collaborate with you, initially in relation to research on the food rescue ecosystem in California (we already have great collaborators in places such as Boston and New Jersey/New York) but also on gamification design aspects that will appeal to youth.  

Let's think locally and act locally for food rescue! 

Photo of Beckie Wei

Hi @Brian Tang ! We were so excited to hear that you want to collaborate with us!

We have looked at your website and thought using the game style to encourage youth to hunt the imperfect food is a very good idea. It is smart to encourage people by using game to encourage them paying attention to what is happening around them. We are also willing to expand your action to the restaurants since they are the large food waste target group.

Please give us couple days to think about this, how to carry out the collaboration in a detailed way. We really consider the collaboration will be great. I will leave me and Esther's email, for the further connections.

Photo of Brian Tang

That is great Beckie Wei  ! Look forward to hearing from you on collaboration. 

In the meantime, for your own personal safety and privacy, can I suggest that you amend your post by deleting your private emails on this website. If you would like to contact me, please feel free to leave a message via - many thanks! 

Photo of Esther Li19

Hi Mr. Brian Tang,
I am Esther Li, Thank you for your encouragement. I think our team need to discuss this collaborate with adults, such as teachers, parents, because we are still high school students, and we don't have any experiments of collaborate. Please give us couple a days to think about it. I am very glad that we have the same goal to reduce the food waste.   Thank you!, If you want to contact me, here is my face book:

Photo of Brian Tang

Dear Esther Li19 , plse do discuss first with your parents and teachers - that is very important.

FYI - ZacSnax started as my then 9 year old son's project that was supported by youth development charity Kids4Kids ( ) - I happen to also sit on their Board of Governors.

Would be great to connect different school students from across the different continents to (1) help research their local food rescue ecosystems (you can see some of the questions I have posed to Emily Bell  during our exchange at Be an Urban and Suburban Food Donor and Rescuer... Pokemon Go style! ) and (2) for your team to take the lead to reach out to educate, engage and empower other students (in your school, in San Mateo and maybe even beyond) to be food rescuers via this proposed gamified crowdmapped platform ! 

Look forward to hearing from you in due course. 

Photo of Beckie Wei

Thank you for your reminding! Actually we had another person looking forward to collaborate with us. He displaced his app develop skill on his link. I remembered you were also looking for someone who has software develop skills. So I think introduced him to you would be helpful. Here is his link:
Also, Esther ana I would like to know what we can do for your team. Because you have a larger organization with more experience and we are living in California with those resources around us. We were passionate to let more people know both of our thoughts!
By the way, I liked your facebook page so we can also talk about this via facebook.
Sorry about the late reply.

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