#Challenge2: Friends over Food

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Friends over Food is an app that seeks to promote community bonding and enrich the undergraduate experience by helping students branch out from the comforts of their immediate friend groups and meet new people in their communities over a meal. At Harvard, one of the most popular small-talk phrases among students is “Let’s get a meal,” and yet this rarely seems to happen among acquaintances because of the potential awkwardness and difficulty in scheduling a time. In fact, we have noticed that a significant number of Harvard undergraduates have meals alone, especially during lunch time, or eat meals with the same group of people almost every day, whether it be their blocking groups or roommates. If you look at Travis in our journey map, for example, he texts his roommates for lunch, hears no response, and has no choice but to eat alone because he doesn’t have a backup plan. He goes to the dining hall, grabs a plate of food, but doesn’t get very much, because he wants to leave this awkward situation quickly. He walks to the back of the dining hall to the self-sorted section of students eating alone. He takes out his laptop because he wants to show that he’s not eating alone because he doesn’t have anyone to eat with, but because he is busy. He finishes his food way too fast, rushes off to class, a full 15 minutes early, leaving him to contemplate why he just had to go through that extremely unpleasant experience. Friends over Food allows people like Travis to be matched with another student in the Harvard community with at least one mutual friend on social media for a spontaneous meal together at a location and time of their convenience. The most fascinating thing about a place like Harvard is that you can learn so much and be constantly inspired by the experiences, stories, and ideas of others. So why not do that over food? Never eat a meal alone, have a fulfilling conversation, and make a new friend with Friends over Food. *Submitted late due to technical difficulties with uploading images (teaching staff informed)

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