Dignity Machine

A "vending machine" for excess food that homeless people can use or organizations can use to collect food to feed needy.

Photo of Sydney Rodman
1 3

Written by

Additional categories (optional)

  • Technology
  • Environment

Are you employed by T-Mobile or related to an employee of T-Mobile?

  • No

Eligibility: Date of Birth


Help us stay in touch!

240-507-3477 MD: Potomac (20854)

Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Idea (hoping to get started in the future)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Homeless and needy families feel shame when they ask for money or go to shelters for handouts. Also, restaurants and stores have excess food that either expires, is mishhappen or is uneaten. There is a lot of waste generated.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

In centers with multiple restaurants and stores with food, a vending machine will be strategically placed for all to add contributions to the machine. A homeless person will use the machine by facial recognition or fingerprint and organizations will have a registerable card to take food to transport to shelters or kitchens. This machine will also help count the number of homeless people or those who experience severe poverty.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

I want to help the environment and suffering people at the same time.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”


5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

When, lets say cheesecake factory makes too much of a dish or someone sends back food, instead of throwing it out, they set it aside for the night and later put it in a box that goes in the vending machine for other food businesses nearby. Later that day or any day subsequently, a low-income family or homeless person can use the machine for free food and focus on using money for other matters.

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

This machine fosters dignity and requires low maintenance. It is self-sufficient for the providers.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

It will create less food waste and more opportunities for those in need to be satiated with good food.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

I need to build this machine and make a business model canvas.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Monitoring Impact

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 1 [optional] Which of the following categories do you identify with?

  • White (for example: German, Irish, English, Italian, Polish, French) (6)

Help Us Support Diversity! Part 2 [optional] Do you identify as part of any of the following underrepresented communities?

  • Religious minority (non-Christian)

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Email

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Alayna Meade

This is outstanding. Your idea could be the reason someone eats tonight. JEE Foods would love to partner with you to make this a reality!