Service Design - Social Innovation Design - Sustainable Design

A Community Driven Food Service to Alleviate Student Food Insecurity

Food4Meal seeks to address student food scarcity and lack of access to nutrition on campus which can be caused by barriers such as a lack of time, money, or resources. Food4Meal is an on-campus food service where students can exchange their unused and unopened food items for a ready-made and nutritious meal. Students benefit from Food4Meal because it reduces the time spent on preparing and cooking meals by bringing their new, unopened goods in exchange for a hot, nutritious meal. While creating a nutritious meal by oneself can be costly due to needing to purchase multiple food items, Food4Meal brings students together by combining all of the food exchanges into many meals that the student otherwise could not have made with the food they brought in alone.

The challenge Food4Meal focuses on is nutrition and food scarcity among OCAD’s student population. Post-secondary students across Canada are found to experience a lack of access to nutritious, affordable food on- and off-campus. The problems facing students in regard to inadequate access to nutritious, affordable food stems from a variety of issues that can be directly and indirectly caused as a result of being a student such as lack of time, money, or resources. 




Food4Meal is a bartering service whereby students can obtain a whole, nutritious meal in exchange for unexpired, unopened foods, which may not be nutritionally whole on their own, which will then go towards more hot meals. Food4Meal uses an app platform for students to view the week’s meals, which foods are being accepted for barter, and to keep track of how many points they have accumulated from bartering their food items in order to trade these points for meals. Food4Meal addresses the issue of affordable, nutritious food on-campus by giving students the opportunity to exchange a few affordable, simple food items in exchange for a nutritionally whole meal that they may not have otherwise had the time, finances, or resources to make. Food4Meal will, over-time, dismantle the systems in place that work against students and their access to good, nutritious food, ultimately championing the just, sustainable, healthy food system that students deserve.





Sydney Cooling-Sturges:

Jasmine Khnanishoo:

Design Researcher, Social Innovation, Service, and Systems Designer

UI/UX Designer, Social Innovation, Service, and Systems Designer 

To create the complex system that is Food4Meal, as well as ensure we were tackling the issue in the best possible way, we underwent a variety of observational, desk, and interview research. It was especially important to look into OCAD's existing food scarcity tackling systems in order to create a solution that could be implemented in tandem with these services. To create the app, Jasmine used AdobeXD and took inspiration from existing OCAD U apps.