The Prototype in Action

It was an interesting Wednesday, Starting from 10:00 AM, Sushma, began setting up the prototype. Students just had to write their names and NetIDs, if they had brought some food to share.

I joined a bit late because I was at the LaGuardia studio. When I reached, it was as though none of our promotion “stunts” had worked. That was a bit upsetting. But it was also true that few students had shown interest and had brought some food. Of course, with a lot of expectations, both Sushma and I had brought food to share as well. And Emma showed up a few minutes after me. But she had brought quiet a lot of food to share.

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We had, for the sake of keeping it simple, divided the food types into four categories: Home cooked, take outs, packed, and produce.

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All kinds of food was brought to our table, when it was just over noon. They included pasta, rice, beans, lentils, granola bars, instant noodles, instant mac and cheese, instant coffee powder (a lot of instants here ☺; shows how busy being a student is), salads, bread, cranberries, broccoli etc. (well, I have forgotten a few more)

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What did we learn from this prototype?

About 25 students had shown interest and participated. Seven had brought food to share.
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Since we received the netids from the students, it was possible for everyone who received food to show their gratitude. Some of them instantly sent an email of appreciation; I was there when that happened.

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Things that I observed

One student wanted to take only a few of the cranberries of the lot (we gave him a ziploc bag)
There were students who took raw foods (I mean produce) and one of their reason was because they could cook. Others did not want to take them, because they did not know how to cook.
No one had brought home cooked food. I don’t know the reason behind this, but I know that it takes a lot of time to cook food at home.
Students are reluctant to write things on paper, because they would rather scan their IDs or press a button.
Many students took an interest in reducing food waste and learning about Project Avocado (this one’s a bonus☺)

Most conversation were had with Sushma and Emma, because I was busy with the “card swipy thing”, used to give two hours of credit for taking and three hours for giving food.
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The photos speak for themselves. I think that this was a great event. It makes me happy because students did not hesitate to share food or to take food from other students. There wasn’t a lot of food that remained at the end of the day.

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Are we getting closer to building a stronger NYU community?
I’ll say we are one step closer. Because this event has given us many great ideas to work on… What if we had a sharing fridge?

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TL;DR: We can build a stronger community of students, while reducing food waste at NYU!

p.s., As of now, Project Avocado has 3 members: Sushma, Emma, and me.

I’m looking forward towards the prototype showcase…

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