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Students Launch Free Food Website

Madison Poulter |
October 22, 2014 | 11:16 a.m. PDT

Staff Writer

Being a college student is expensive, but eating does not have to be. In September, seniors Quin Kaku and Hannah Kim launched USC Free Food, a website giving students a quick and easy way to find free food on campus.

(USC Free Food)
(USC Free Food)
This idea for the website spawned from the USC Free Food Facebook group, which allows students to post on-campus events that offer free food. The Facebook group was a great start, but Kaku and Kim wanted to take the group a step further and expand its reach and potential.

“I thought that there was an easier way for all the information to be posted and advertised," Kim, a Public Relations major, said. "It’s really hard to find events. You have to exert a lot of effort. The initial Facebook group was a huge step for that, but since it is a closed Facebook group within the student body, USC organizations that are not student run, are not able to post, and those organizations have a lot of free food events.”

The ingenuity of USC Free Food has not gone unnoticed. “USC tweeted about us the other day, and lots of people have been coming up to us saying they’ve had this idea and are happy someone has finally started it,” Kaku said.

The duo initially intended to design an app, but decided to create something that was more low maintenance and community oriented. “This is not a business venture,” Kaku said. “It’s a fun personal project.” 

USC Free Food is not focused on generating profit, but was created for and generated by the community. With no formal advertising other than social media and word of mouth, USC Free Food receives thousands of hits a day from hungry Trojans.  

USC Free Food presents students with more than a delicious opportunity to grab a free meal. The website gives them the opportunity to explore student life. With so many different clubs, discussions and events on campus, it can be difficult for students to navigate their interests.  

“Freshman year, Hannah brought me to an event that turned out to be a seminar on singing, opera singing. It was really interesting because that is not something I would have been interested in. It was a cool and unique experience,” Kaku said. 

USC Free Food allows clubs to reach out to students in a new way. People may attend the event for the food, but they may end up loving what they find. USC Free Food provides a way of not only increasing advertising reach, but also gives clubs and organizations a mechanism for attracting new members. Kaku and Kim encourage students to submit events to their website. Submitting events, meetings and talks to USC Free Food is a simple and user-friendly process. Once Kaku and Kim approve the event, they post it on the website and promote it on Facebook.   

Submitting an event is quick and easy. (USC Free Food)
Submitting an event is quick and easy. (USC Free Food)

After Kim and Kaku graduate this spring, where does the future of USC Free Food lie? The pair are looking to recruit people to join their team.

“We are looking for students to help out as we grow, and as we prepare to graduate,” Kim said. If you have penchant for finding free food events, or if food interests you, this may be the activity for you. 

For more information and or to contact the duo behind Free Food, you can reach them here

Upcoming free food events:

Taste of DTLA (10/27) – This event will feature some of the most popular restaurants and food trucks from downtown Los Angeles. Come feast your heart away from the likes of Sprinkles and Viztango. 

Healthy Food Fair (10/28) - The Environmental Student Assembly is sponsoring an alternative free food event. Vegetarian and vegan restaurants will be serving health-conscious offerings. 

Contact staff writer Madison Poulter here



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