Combining my interest in website designing and development with my passion for community service
Food For All: A website that helps in reducing food wastage by spreading awareness and utilizing excess food
I have always had the drive to help the community with the help of technology. This drive started when I did my first community service project with my high school in Bhopal, India. I got a sense of satisfaction and purpose that I never had experienced before. Recently, during the pandemic, I went back to my home town Bhopal to stay with my family. It was hard to see people losing jobs and subsequently struggling to make money for just getting groceries and food for themselves. What was even harder to see was the disparity between the people. Some people were enjoying food at parties and weddings and wasting the excess food at those functions while some were starving for food. This was the inspiration behind my Food For All project and its mission is to utilize excess food at these parties, functions, and weddings and distribute it to the less fortunate.
My Research: Food Wastage in India
Before I could begin brainstorming on the ideas for my project, I researched for about two weeks on Food Wastage in India and the root cause of it. I found that India is the top undernourished country in the world as showcased in the graph below.
Moreover, 200 million people sleep hungry every night in India and 3000 children die due to malnutrition. Apart from India being the top undernourished country, what hurts more is the fact that 40% of the food produced in India is wasted and approx 110 lbs of food is thrown away per person every year. The causes for this problem are excess food wastage in marriages and other functions, lack of awareness, food cancellations on online platforms like Zomato and Swiggy. However, the main root cause is a lack of awareness amongst the common crowd. People are not worried about things like procuring groceries or worried about how long their supplies would last. With these facts in mind, I came up with an idea to ensure that food wastage is minimal and excess food is utilized in every way possible.
My Project: Food For All
After brainstorming on what I can do, I thought that I should learn a skill I am interested in while implementing the project. My idea is to design and develop a website that can be a platform through which excess food can be utilized. Starting from my own town, the website would connect with various hotels, banquets, and other marriage gardens which can have excess food and also with non-profit organizations around the town which can utilize it. The website will serve as a link between these organizations and the non-profits can distribute the food to the less fortunate people. I spread awareness through this website on food wastage in India and also send tips to the users on a daily basis on how they can avoid food wastage. I have come up with the design for the website which I talk about more in the next section.
During this process, I learned how to use Figma to design my website. I have shared below the homepage of the website and the link to the whole design.
These pictures are in fact clicked by me when my friends and I conducted a food distribution drive when I went back home during the pandemic. The smile on their faces just by getting a couple of mangoes gave me all the inspiration I needed to do something about this crisis on a larger scale. I chose the theme orange and white for the website. Orange is inspired by the orange crop fields throughout my town and white by the color of slums there. Moreover, the color of the child’s shirt is orange and white which is also the inspiration behind the theme. There is also a newsletter signup box and some articles on the other pages of the website which can be found here.
I learned a lot of facts about food wastage in India. I am more aware of the food wastage situation of the community around me and how I can help them. I also reached out to a lot of organizations during the process which helped me learn how to contact and reach out to professional organizations. On the technical side, I learned Figma, which can be very beneficial for me in pursuing a website development career. I want to thank my mentors Nathaniel Kim and Brittany Tang for guiding me. They helped me figure out a way to combine my interest in website development and my passion for community service and come up with a meaningful project.