Exchanging Food Online, soon?

The Dell Social Innovation Competition is on right now. The $50,000 competition calls on college students worldwide to come up with ideas to change our planet. A humble goal, but a noble one.

Anyway, one of the entries proposes to link food donors with food banks and soup kitchens via the Web. This joint venture by students at Berkeley and Texas is a fabulous idea (although not an original one). It would create a site, Food2.org (a model is up now), to “close the information gap that prevents fresh nutritious foods from reaching hunger relief organizations.”

image courtesy of RGK Center for Philanthropy and Community Service at Univ. of TexasThe entry is now a semi-finalist, but could use all the help it can get. It’s up against some amazing ideas like SOccket, a soccer ball that harnesses the energy from play for use later as a power source (Note to family: that’d make a sweet birthday present, eh??)

Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but I should say that Shared Harvest has built this kind of online exchange for a few states and municipalities. But I think there’s room for some competition. And there’s always room for idealism.

No matter who’s behind it, the hardest part of a food exchange site will be getting both donors and recipients to visit regularly. Once that occurs, it’s golden.

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