Four Berkeley I School MIMS students won the grand prize in this year’s CITRIS Mobile App Challenge, which promotes innovation, community service, and career development among University of California students.
MIMS students Irina Lozhkina, Becca Stanger, Todor Tzolov, and Matt Valente created Snapily, a shopping app offering grocery pickup services to low-income residents, including SNAP and WIC participants. Their goal is to increase this population’s access to healthy, affordable food.
CalFresh participants face many obstacles to eating a healthy and nutritious diet. One of the biggest challenges is access to healthy food. These low-income residents often live in regions designated as “food deserts”, without convenient access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of grocery stores, these communities are served only by fast food restaurants and corner liquor stores. They also typically have less access to transportation and less time to travel outside of their community to shop for healthier options.
Food delivery services have the potential to address this problem of access to healthy food, the team believes. Unfortunately, a “delivery divide” affects low-income populations, as current delivery services cater to more affluent communities. The Snapily team has developed a food delivery service that focuses exclusively on CalFresh participants with the goal of inspiring and enabling healthier food habits.
Finalists presented their projects Monday to a panel of judges at the public pitch and demo day. Other finalists included Walk With Me, which addresses scheduling conflicts by uploading schedules and matching users with nearby people in their network with free time; Gyaan, which matches volunteers in India who speak one of the many local languages with students, who connect over a regular non-smart cell phone to learn English; CrowdLearn, a free learning platform that integrates learning modules already on the web and develops further knowledge by subject through user-generated content; weEAT, which builds community through food by matching users with neighbor or friends for a meal or snack; and Seedit, which connects to sensors in the user’s garden for real time readings of soil temperature, pH, and moisture that the user can view on their mobile app.
Following the judging, Snapily won both the $2,500 Grand Prize and the $1,000 People’s Choice Prize.
The team will present the Snapily project again on Thursday, May 14, at 4:00 pm in South Hall, along with the rest of the final projects from the MIMS class of 2015. All are welcome.