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Smart Campus Named Winner in Social Mobility Competition

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The Smart Campus student organization was named the winner of “Moving Forward Together: Paving the Way for Social Mobility,” a competition to provide socially conscious groups and organizations with technology platforms and expertise for the advancement of social mobility. 

The competition was sponsored by Transitus, an Ohio-based 501(c)(3) organization focused on innovative solutions to improve access to food, healthcare, and job and workforce development for underserved populations and communities. Teams were tasked with proposing ideas on how to use Transitus technology platform for on-demand transportation and logistics of people, goods and services. The winning team receives full access to the platform as well as support from experts in technology architecture for the course of one year, valued at $150,000.

Priority was given to proposals that focused on promoting access and equity through cross-community teams of university and industry partnership, with an emphasis on student engagement.

The Smart Campus organization partnered with three other student groups on campus (Food Recovery Network, Buckeyes for Wellness, and Kellogg-Moser Food Security and Sustainability Learning Community), as well as a new, innovative grocery delivery startup in Cincinnati, OH called Food Forest.  The team’s proposal was focused on the overall goal of improving food access both on campus and in the Columbus, OH community.

“After talking with several groups on campus, I heard a common theme emerge, in that students face significant barriers to accessing affordable groceries,” said Freudiger.

Leveraging Food Forest’s innovative “Hotspot” delivery method, the team will utilize the smart mobility platform to coordinate free grocery delivery to students outside their dorms, while also adding a logistics component to the work already being done by the Food Recovery Network. The group also plans to provide students with educational material on nutrition wellness at the hotspots to promote healthy nutrition habits among students.

“Our goal is to use this smart mobility platform to increase our overall impact of food access and improve food waste mitigation,” said Freudiger. “It’s great to see students coming together to fight food insecurity in our community, while helping Ohio State reach their sustainability goals at the same time.”

If you’re interested in joining Smart Campus, please contact Danny Freudiger at freudiger.1@osu.edu.