WHO ARE WE
NYU FREEdge is an NYU Makerspace partnered initiative by Design for America of NYU that facilitates the provision and use of community fridges at NYU. FREEdge aims to reduce food insecurity through a DFA human-centered design approach. By facilitating campus engagement, we create stronger community bonds while reducing food wastage.
Our mission is to reduce food waste and food insecurity in NYU and NYC.
Since 2016, DFA NYU has developed NYU FREEdge, a community
fridge aiming to reduce food waste and food insecurity by sharing leftovers and extra food.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, New York City struggled with a hunger crisis. According to City Harvest, the pre-COVID figures show that 2.5 million working-age New Yorkers were struggling to make ends meet. Nearly 1.2 million New Yorkers were experiencing food insecurity (defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a “lack of constant access to enough food for an active, healthy life”). During the current pandemic, the situation is even more dire: Over 1.5 million New Yorkers are struggling to feed themselves and their families (38% increase from pre-COVID statistics). One in four children are experiencing food insecurity (49% increase from pre-COVID statistics).
This fall we have iterated our design based on the insights we gathered last year while exploring how we could use this model to help local communities around NYU campuses. Indeed, in spring 2020, during the lockdown, as many people lost their jobs, several community fridges popped up in NYC showing the value of a community fridge model, and we are looking to expand our impact on local communities.
HUMAN CENTERED DESIGN
Human-centered design is an approach to problem solving, commonly used in design and management frameworks that develops solutions to problems by involving the human perspective in all steps of the problem-solving process.
A community of students, undergraduates and graduates across all NYU. We use human-centered design to tackle social issues locally and globally and to develop solutions that have social impact. We are part of Design for America (DFA National), a national student network composed of more than 35 studios across the US.