Posted September 22, 2016
  • Image credit Morgan Rees, The Daily Pennsylvanian

Hey Folks, Let’s Talk Hunger!

Thousands of people in the Philadelphia community deal with hunger each day often suffering in silence. this project seeks to open up the conversation about food security and hunger with BLOSSOMInteractive, scheduled to launch this September 16th at 37th & Locust Walk right on Penn’s campus!!

Three design students, Sarai Williams (MCP/MLA '17) , Phillip Chang (IPD '17) and Jono Sanders (MSE/IPD '17) worked over the summer to finish construction, coordinate with nonprofit partners, and volunteer. And then they carried it the final mile to install it on campus at 37th and Locust Walk.

As am overview of this 2016 Penn Praxis Social Impact project, the students designed and built a 6-foot tall interactive flower blossom sculpture to be installed on the University of Pennsylvania campus in September 2016 during Hunger Action Month for students, faculty, and the surrounding community. The goal of the sculpture is not to solve hunger but to bring awareness to the issue as a first step; just as a flower has to blossom before a plant can bear fruit, bringing people into the conversation can show them how they can get involved. The internet-connected sculpture opens when photos of the blossom are posted with #FeedBlossom to Instagram and Twitter. People interacting with the sculpture will receive information about the various food security and hunger causes via a social media response from one of the 4 local nonprofit partners – Broad Street Ministry, Philabundance, Coalition Against Hunger, and The Food Trust.

With a main goal of raising awareness about the various issues surrounding hunger & food such as the lack of access for low-income families to fresh produce, no healthy foods being offered in schools, or meals available to the homeless population, the project directs people to some of the organizations that are doing great things in the community to address these issues. People posting photos of BLOSSOMInteractive to Instagram and Twitter will have the opportunity to further the conversation about hunger by also becoming participants in the fight if they so choose. These events may range from volunteering to serve dinner one evening at Broad Street Ministry, to helping a family shop for healthy foods at a local pantry with the Coalition Against Hunger team, to participating in gleaning produce at a local farm with Philabundance, to donating to provide free meals for school children from low-income families through the Food Trust.

Stop by BLOSSOMInteractive before the end of September and post a photo to Instagram or Twitter with #FeedBlossom. To get more information on the project, visit the website at Let’s all do what we can to Feed the Conversation!!