The Foodshare App - bringing together social networks and solving societal issues
by: Jorne Visser, Urban Gro Lab
The Foodshare App is an application that is developed by students from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. The app is aimed to be used on your smartphone and brings together people that offer food and people that need food or certain products. With the app it’s possible to get in touch with people in your neighbourhood and arrange a swap deal. This way it’s aiming to challenge food waste in the city. The app is developed in collaboration with the municipality of Groningen and the local foodbank. Providing help, information, a network and an opportunity to test the app in a pilot. The Hanze students are aiming to further develop the product and are working out a business plan for the product after finishing their studies.
An average inhabitant of The Netherlands wastes 316 kg of food per year, also grocery stores are throwing away tons of food every year. With the important battle against climate change, it is really important to change our mindset and our carbon footprint. By reducing foodwaste we can have a huge impact on this process. The city of Groningen has one of the highest poverty rates in the Netherlands and it is interesting to find ways of battling both issues within the city. The Foodbank and the municipality want to bring together people and create more cohesion within the community. As the municipality has the opportunity to mainly influence and inform the consumer side of the local food chain, it aims to create a more sustainable and aware consumption behaviour in the city. One of the goals is to decrease the enormous amount of food waste within cities, when this is achieved, food production will eventually become lower as well or more evenly distributed. Another goal is to promote and influence the social effects food has by using it as a tool to bring people within neighbourhoods together. A tool that is stimulated by the municipality of Groningen is the Foodshare App. The Foodshare App is a product that addresses the several issues that are mentioned above. With the use of this app, it’s possible to exchange food and leftovers with other citizens of Groningen. With a small payment or a swap of products people prevent food from being thrown away. With the help of the application the municipality is aiming to achieve limitations of food waste as well as increasing the social interaction within the city.
How did we do it?
The Foodshare App is an application that is developed by students from the Hanze University of Applied Sciences in Groningen. As part of their curriculum, they got the opportunity to develop their own new product. This application is further developed in a collaboration with the municipality of Groningen and the local foodbank. The students were aided in further developing the app, providing a network to them, advise on the usability of the product, thinking of the audience that could best be reached and offering a pilot environment via the foodbank to test the app in. This resulted in a further development of the application and plans for developing the app into a serious product, which the students aim to finish after the summer as a starting company.
The team of students will develop the app further during the summer and will more seriously launch the product after they finished their studies this year. This way they will try and find way to sell their product to interested investors. The municipality will provide the group of entrepreneurs a platform to promote their application at the annual Let’s Gro Festival in November. The Let’s Gro festival is a citywide inspiration festival concerning the development of the city, by Groningers, for Groningers. This way the app can be promoted to thousands of visitors and inhabitants.
Urban Gro Lab