Entrepreneurial students run produce pickup, donate funds

by Nathanael King / Beacon Staff • October 21, 2015

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Students organized the distribution of the produce.
Students organized the distribution of the produce.

Four students in Emerson’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program organized a produce pickup service last week and donated the $213.36 in profits to the Greater Boston Food Bank.

Organizers picked up about 120 produce items from the Haymarket Square open air market on Saturday morning, ordered by 35 students through a Google form. Participants could pick up their orders in the Piano Row lobby that afternoon.

Alaina Belanger, a senior marketing communication major and one of the organizers, said that the produce pickup originated as a class project where Entrepreneurial Studies students were tasked with creating a business with $5. She collaborated with three others: Hamad al Badi and James Kimo Gray, both junior marketing communication majors, and Savannah Strange, a junior communication sciences and disorders major.

Belanger said that she knew students were dissatisfied with the produce selection in the Dining Hall.

“We decided to do a fresh produce pickup because people were so frustrated with the [on] campus options,” Belanger said.

Manna Parker-Lillibridge, a freshman journalism major, purchased fruit to supplement her meal plan.

“[The dining hall] is not really the best food, and it’s not super healthy, so sometimes I like to have my own options in my suite,” Parker said.

The organizers said they chose to donate to the Greater Boston Food Bank because it is a local charity and an efficient use of the money they raised—its website says that they can provide 150 meals with $50.

Belanger said that while the current organizers did not plan to make this an annual event, they had been keeping track of all their data and would consider giving it to another group if they’re interested in repeating it.

“It’s just a one day project for now,” Belanger said, “but it could turn into something bigger."