Fighting Food Insecurity

  Justin K. Moy, Griffin J. O’Neil, Zach H. Le, Keri A. McLaughlin

For this project our team worked with Scholars of Sustenance (SoS), a food rescue organization based out of Bangkok Thailand. The goal of this project was to create a set of recommendations for SoS to use in order to grow their donor base and presence. In order to create this set of recommendations we did research on food rescue in other countries, interviewed SoS, conducted interviews with companies both partnered and not partnered with SoS, and interviewed public and private waste collection services. After our interviews, we secured two new corporate food donors for SoS. Lastly, we brought together all of our findings in order to create a finalized set of recommendations. In the end we believe our recommendations will help SoS gain more partners and donations.

Utilizing Technology to Promote Food Sovereignty in Cuenca, Ecuador

Advisors: Laureen Elgert, Fabienne Miller

  Eliza L. Smith, Tyler C. Looney, Allison A. Spratt, Alejandro Gerov Armas

With the increased popularity of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in agriculture, we focused our research about what ICTs could do for a rural Ecuadorian organization, Cultivando el Futuro (CeF). CeF is an initiative that distributes seedlings and hosts educational webinars for members to promote food sovereignty. Their current Facebook page is not an effective platform for distributing this information. Our goal was to evaluate CeF’s current platform and then propose a new platform to help more members develop their agricultural practices. Through Facebook Insights, surveys, and interviews, we were able to compare ICTs and decide that a website would be the best fit for CeF.

Minimizing Food Waste at Food Pantries

Advisors: Pamela Weathers

  Youssef Amellal, Joseph Barimah Asante, George Akuamoah Asare

The project was aimed at establishing measures that could be implemented to reduce food waste at the Stow Food Pantry. This goal was achieved by reviewing scientific studies, contacting food manufacturers, contacting food pantries in Massachusetts, and through surveys. – Findings show that operations at the Stow Food Pantry can be efficiently streamlined to save volunteer time, and volunteers are willing to work more hours often at night so that more clients can be served. It was also determined that the date labels on canned foods do not necessarily convey food safety information, but show when the food is at its peak quality and freshness. Apart from baby formula, canned foods are indefinitely safe for consumption if they are kept within the proper temperatures and handled properly.

Addressing Food Insecurity in the African Community in Worcester

Advisors: J. Scott Jiusto, Gbetonmasse B. Somasse

  Mary E. Scrivanich, Camila Cavalcanti Bezerra M Car, Isabelle Chi, Lauren Guerrero Negron

In Worcester, Massachusetts, food insecurity is rising among the African community due to socioeconomic barriers and ineligibility for food assistance. There is a need for food pantries that cater to the cultural, linguistic and health needs of Africans. To address this issue, we developed a plan for a long-term food pantry to be run by the Massachusetts Organization of African Descendants. We conducted semi-structured interviews with local food pantries and a food bank, developed a survey to gather information about the targeted community, and designed informational products about the importance of healthy eating. Project outcomes included a website to facilitate visibility for the food pantry and a business plan that outlines how to establish and maintain the pantry.