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It all started with a box of bananas

It all started with a box of bananas

Photographer:Fotograaf: publicdomainpictures

Food Sharing Maastricht wins Student Idea Competition

MAASTRICHT. One day FASoS student Klara Strecker saw a catering employee throw bananas away at closing time in the university library. “She had to, because of regulations, but they were perfectly all right.” Someone has to do something about this, she thought. Last Friday Food Sharing Maastricht won the Student Idea Competition.

Organised by the Student Project Team, the Student Idea Competition offers workshops for students with a good idea to improve student life. Five finalists pitch their plan to a jury, who award the best idea with 400 euros. This year it was this idea by Strecker and FHML student Nicola Bauer, which is simple: collect food that would be wasted otherwise and give it to people who want it. It’s not a new idea, but it has proven to work in other places. A prime example is Germany, according to Strecker, where an estimated 7.5 million pounds of food has so far been ‘rescued’.

The prize money will go to finding a storage space. “For now, we can put it in the Green Office, but that’s not a long-term solution.” During the final last Friday in the Karl Dittrich hall, the jury asked how she plans to cover the other costs. “Donations – we already got a fridge that way – crowd funding, and we’re thinking of having a donation box at the collection point where people can ‘pay’ for the food if they want to.”

Second prize (200 euros) went to the app EYOU. European Studies student Simeon Kechagias was frustrated by how difficult it was to find out which EU rights and laws applied to him. “And I’m studying European Studies; imagine if you don’t have that background.” So he developed an app in which people can enter their age, sex, nationality and place of work, and receive information about the EU tailored to their situation. “Employees and students from the law faculty are helping me. In the future, we also hope to do the same for national laws.”

Third prize was offered this year by Launchbase, a platform of the Maastricht Centre for Entrepreneurship, which provides advice for young entrepreneurs. The winner, The Feedback, will benefit from help and guidance in setting up their start-up. An app that allows students to give feedback anonymously, the makers feel it will improve honesty. The receiver can choose to accept the feedback or not, which gives tutors insight into how they handle such feedback. The jury had some concerns about the idea; they were not keen on anonymity and had questions about what would happen with the data people shared.

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