The Association of Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning BC/Yukon is pleased to recognize international student Shiven Khera who has won an award for his co-op story about creating an inventory management system for the Central Okanagan food bank.
Shiven worked closely with his supervisor, Associate Professor Dr. Eric Li who submitted this story on Shiven’s behalf:
My student and I are partnering with a local Food Bank to co-develop a new donation management system. Since the beginning of COVID-19, Food Banks in Canada experienced a dramatic increase in demand. Our system will help our Food Bank partner to better predict the supply and demand of food as well as better track the expiration of food to minimize food waste. Our partner managed over CAD7 million value of food every year and served over 1,500 families in the region. Our system will digitize the food re-distribution and donation tracking system. In the next phase of the implementation, we will connect with local farmers to facilitate the surplus of the farm produced. In average, 17 to 19 percent of the produced was wasted at the farm level, our multi-agent donation management system aims to reduce at least 50% of the farm-waste by connecting the farmers with the local food bank. Unlike the commercialized inventory management system, our donation management system will be the first Canadian-based system that co-developed by Food Bank and an university research team. All our logic and system are customized for Food Bank and other non-profit organization operations.
Meet Shiven & Dr. Li
We asked Dr. Li how the project started and he notes that Shiven was always interested in food management so he thought of Shiven when the inventory management project came along.
“One of the challenges they experience is that most of the food bank is running on a voluntary basis with high turnover between volunteers. So, capturing the donations is always not their priority.” Says Dr. Li.
The food bank processes around CAD7 million worth of food every year and serves over 1,500 families in the Okanagan region. This digitized inventory management system will leave a lasting impact as it can track donations and food expiration, thus eliminating waste.
“I think this project helped understand how development really works and how to take an idea and make it into an actual platform.” says Shiven when reflecting on his co-op experience.
Congratulations Shiven Khera & Dr. Eric Li!
If you’re an ACE-WIL Member, you can also view all 70 story submissions on the project page: