Best Ideas 2019 features all the nominated entries submitted under ‘Submit your Idea’ category. All the entries consist of innovative solutions or propositions for an enterprise that champions the Sustainable Development Goals. They can be on the conceptual, planning, or start-up stage.
RestShare – Save More, Eat More!
Explain your idea in details:
Over 100 million lbs. of food are being thrown away every day from leftover cooked, un-served food at restaurants. At the same time, there are millions of people that are not able to get even a single proper meal a day. In 2010 alone, 14.5% of households in the United States experienced food security at one time or the other - thats over 17 million people! Worldwide the numbers are much higher. Our team wanted to make a difference in the wellness of such food-insecure people in our country and improve the environment wellness of our communities. We wanted to see whether we can make this otherwise wasted food be available to people that need it the most. Thats how we created RestShare in 2017. RestShare is about connecting people to food. Our project connects restaurants, soup kitchens, and volunteers in an easy way to both reduce waste at restaurants and enable food insecure people obtain a good meal. First, it starts with restaurants that can share a list of extra foods that they might otherwise throw away. Next, soup kitchens and other establishments can request food that they might need from the list. Lastly, volunteers can help out by transporting the food from the restaurants to the soup kitchens. We have created an iOS app that helps facilitate this sharing in a very easy, real time, and intuitive manner. The app is available on the Apple App Store. We hope our innovative idea will benefit food-insecure people and our communities. Our RestShare website is at https://d2nkteam.wixsite.com/restshare
Expected impact of your idea on sustainable development
We believe the RestShare initiative can really bring together the parties and make a fundamental shift in reducing wastage and providing a big help to the deserving people in and around the community. Our method can achieve the twin goals and benefit the food-insecure people by not only providing the food but also enable long term health as they are able to avoid malnourishment and other health issues. It is also evident that our initiative is not specific to a region or territory and can be easily organized and expanded to any location around the country and elsewhere. The same concept can also be extended to related goals by bringing together peoples and entities by making use of our distributed responsibility and action. As a result, there will be a definite improvement in the lives of people that rely on the soup kitchens and other charitable establishments for at least a single meal in a day. The main target would be to get a handful of restaurants along with a couple of soup kitchens in a given city or area to participate on an experimental basis and try to expand to surrounding areas. The success can be measured by either by the amount of food that restaurants are able to share compared to what they used to throw away prior to participating in the initiative or by the increase in contributions to the soup kitchens from the restaurants. This information can be a direct reflection of how the initiative is able to make a positive difference in that community.
Plans for implementation and sustainability
Rather than traditional ways that simply promoted an awareness campaign for reducing waste or encouraged people to donate food to the needy, or other isolated campaigns, we went a step further and provided the RestShare framework within which it becomes easier for multiple entities to connect, get involved, and, in the process, make a positive improvement in the lives of food-insecure people. Our easy and intuitive mobile app takes the initiative to the next level by taking advantage of the widespread use of smartphones in today's environment. Furthermore, it does not depend on any one organization to coordinate or supervise but rather entities can connect with one another as needed in a distributed fashion thus harnessing the collective power of the participants. The proposed network model will be the key driver of the initiatives success. There is no inherent cost in the model that requires financing as it relies on the charity of restaurants and volunteers time and labor to help facilitate the distribution. The main collaborators are the restaurant owners, soup kitchen coordinators, and volunteers. In addition, the organizers of any local volunteer groups and community organizers can provide additional support structure to the initiative. We spoke to a few restaurant owners and managers in our community and they were extremely receptive to the idea and gave their perspective and valuable inputs on our initiative. They felt that this idea can really make a significant impact. They suggested that an important factor would be to get the local government or officials behind the initiative to explore using the good Samaritan principle to cover liability issues for restaurants. Once we are able to execute in one region then we can use that as a basis for spreading the idea and execute in other regions.
We are an enthusiastic Science and Innovation team from New York. Our team is called D²NK, which stands for our names and our motto: Design Into Knowledge. We use our strengths in research and technology and work on various STEM initiatives to build devices for specialized purposes and write mobile apps to solve all types of challenges. Our aim is to use technology to make a difference in the lives of the people and community around us. Our RestShare initiative was selected as a Finalist at the Paradigm Challenge 2018 contest. We were selected to showcase our AI4VI wearable sensor at the World Maker Faire New York last year. We participated as part of a First Lego League team and won several awards including Core Values Award at the Razorback Invitational at Arkansas where teams from more than 40 countries participated. Team Members: Nitin Seshadri, Age 15, Sophomore at Somers High School, Somers, NY Deeya Patel, Age 16, Sophomore at Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY Divek Patel, Age 15, Freshman at Hackley School, Tarrytown, NY Karan Keerthy, Age 13, 8th grader at Briarcliff Middle School, Briarcliff Manor, NY