My 5-person team partnered with Second Harvest Food Bank, one of the biggest food banks in the United States. SHFB wants to go beyond to just supplying food — the organization aims to educate clients about healthy eating. However, there are only 4 nutritionists who are responsible for 250,000 clients. The food bank needed help scaling up nutrition education.
SHFB distributes food every month at churches and schools in the area. Our team observed and talked to people. We conduced dozens of interviews, in both English and Spanish, with clients, volunteers, and staff.
We realized that volunteers were eager to help and form a one-one-one connection with clients. But some had trouble taking the first step — either because they didn’t know what to say, or didn’t speak the same language as the clients. Also, the nutritionists at the Second Harvest Headquarters didn’t have a way to collect feedback and updates from the volunteers.
The volunteers are the glue between the nutrition team and the clients, but the bond wasn’t as strong as it could be.
So we prototyped FeedForward, which provides conversation staters for volunteers to talk to clients about health. This gives volunteers any easy way to talk to clients about food even if language barrier or nerves are present.
Throughout the process, we tested paper prototypes at sites, and held focus groups with volunteers to test out more ideas. We are currently preparing the app for a pilot program.