Genesis Expedition – Pop Up Food Truck

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The groundwork was done. The PopUp Food Truck team conducted interviews, brainstormed, and their audience chose a prototype. The objective: use Design Thinking to create a pop-up food truck for the Prospect Hill Community Center. The goal was to provide healthy food options while raising awareness of the importance of locally grown food and seasonal eating with the help of the Brandeis University Rooftop Garden!

Like all Design Thinking projects, this one started with empathy– rather than approaching the challenge from our own perspective, to serve our needs, what did the children, parents, and staff of Prospect Hill want? From the initial planning stages to the final product, the team remained focused on meeting the needs of its audience.

First there was the menu– summery foods like wraps, fruit kebabs, salad on a stick, and yogurt ice cream. With a little help from Genesis Culinary instructor Liz Alpern and Sodexo, Brandeis’s dining service, the teens learned how to prep food for a large group. In the end they managed a speedy 45 seconds per wrap!

The teens also created a huge mural for the side of the food truck which became an interactive art project– kids could decorate their own fish or shells and stick them onto the mural to create something that belonged to the whole community.

The food truck was a huge success, and not just in terms of its execution. The teens were really engaged with what they were doing, and they also forged connections with the people at Prospect Hill. When the PopUp truck arrived last night, it was greeted by a swarm of kids who were incredibly excited to see what the team had created for them.

Pop Up for Change is planning more projects like this, using Design Thinking to find out what communities need and then to create it for them. You can Like them on Facebook and follow them on Twitter, and you can also visit their site at popupforchange.org.

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