Service design with Feeding America
Understand Feeding America's journey to fight hunger and explore new services that can improve the overall experience.
Human-centered Design Studio (DSGN 401-3), Northwestern University
MS Engineering Design Innovation, Winter 2018
Beginning of our journey
Feeding America is a nationwide hunger-relief organization. They manage a network of food banks to prevent food waste and bring nutritious food to people in need. In the Chicago area, Feeding America is partners with the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) to help rescue food and distribute them to local food pantries for direct donation to the people in hunger. Feeding America distributes over 4 billion meals a year through their work in the U.S.
Identifying the problem
In order to understand the whole food distribution chain, our cohort started with observing food suppliers (Trader Joe's, Jewel Osco, etc...) and volunteering at agencies (food banks, food pantries,etc...). We were able to place ourselves in the different stakeholder's perspectives to fully understand the needs and the problems they were facing. We also conducted service excursions and interviews with stakeholders for additional insights. Through this initial research, our team identified a white space in the lack of inter-agency communication and knowledge transfer.
How Might we
Build a supportive network for agencies to share information and connect to improve their performance?
Creating a solution
Bridge is a platform for food suppliers, volunteers, patrons, and agencies to share information and connect.
Volunteers can see all events happening in the community and sign-up through a link to agencies specific websites.
Agencies can post food types of their need and food suppliers can reach out to donate to specific agencies.
Agencies in need of help for improvement could apply for a Bridge Adviser who is a regional consultant for agencies.
"So many non-profits do what they do because that’s what they know, they don't know what’s new and better."
-Community Relations Manager, Agency A
Volunteered at the Evanston Interfaith and helped distribute perishable food to food insecure families
Interviewed agency manager at Connections for the homeless for details in food distribution process
Did secondary research on Feeding America and GCFD's current strategy and searched for white space.
Created paper prototype for parts of Bridge and digitized using Figma
Met with agency managers for user testing of Bridge
Bridge can be improved and revised through future iterations of user testing with higher fidelity prototypes. Initial goal of connecting agencies may grow bigger to impact Feeding America as a whole with the information and resources provided with Bridge. Ultimate goal for this service design is to open new design spaces that can help stakeholders achieve their goals to fight hunger locally and nationally, and we hope Bridge can contribute positively to our community.