A new mobile app and web interface that aims to reduce both food waste and food insecurity on the Lehigh campus is poised to take flight in a pilot this fall. “The Hungry Hawks app is designed to help students find leftover food on campus in order to promote sustainability and reduce food insecurity,” explains Connor Greene, ‘22, one of three Computer Science and Business students who have been working with Katharine Targett Gross and Audrey McSain from the Office of Sustainability and Ashley Ryan of Library and Technology Services to develop the mobile app and corresponding web interface. The resulting Hungry Hawks mobile app and web interface will allow faculty, staff and students to post leftover food from events and meetings and lets students looking for free leftover food to view active events.
The idea for Hungry Hawks landed after an incident occurred on an earlier pilot program hosted on GroupMe. Hungry Hawks improves on that previous effort by adding features such as a campus map, walking directions, and filters making it easier for students to search for leftover food on campus. CSB students Connor Greene ‘22, Joshua Yang ‘22, and Dave Jha ‘22 approached Sustainability Officer Katharine Targett Gross with the idea of creating an mobile app and web interface to help match hungry students with the food left over from the numerous events taking place (pre-COVID) on campus every day. “Our goal was to minimize the wasteful cycle of throwing perfectly good food away after campus meetings and events end,” said Targett Gross. “This was a great experiential learning opportunity for our students and will reduce waste and food insecurity on campus, a win-win.”
Jha, Yang, and Greene have completed the initial version of the mobile app and web interface and are working on additional features. The next milestones are to pilot Hungry Hawks among a small group of students in October and gain approval to publish on the various app stores. With hopes of a successful pilot and resumption of campus activities, the group expects Hungry Hawks to spread its wings in 2021. Stay tuned for more information!