Ridgeland Middle Schoolers Compete in National App Contest

RIDGELAND, Miss. – Eating school lunch could soon be a little easier thanks to a group of tech savvy middle schoolers.

Some sixth and seventh graders at Ridgeland’s Olde Towne Middle School are participating in a nationwide app challenge, and they could use your help.

Allen Richert, Xavier Pawlak, Aiden Alsworth, Sasha Lewis, and Daniel Lynn make up a team for the Verizon Innovative Learning App Challenge.

These Olde Towne students wanted to come up with a way to reduce food waste in the cafeteria, so they designed an app for that.

The app is called Lunch-o-matic.
The Verizon app challenge is a nationwide contest, and with Olde Town holding the title for best in Mississippi, they have a chance at a big prize.

Right now the team is competing for a $15,000 prize, a free trip to Orlando for a technology conference, and the chance to work along with Massachusetts Institute of Technology experts to develop their app.

The students say the idea for Lunch-o-matic came when a fellow student with diabetes could not eat certain foods served in the school’s cafeteria.

“With all the dietary restrictions he went through, he realized he needed to be able to pick out or see what the lunch menu was going to be,” seventh grader, Sasha Lewis explained. “With our app Lunch-o-matic he can do that.”

“It also has a nutrition feature, where students can determine what they can eat with dietary restrictions and the whole point of this is to prevent food waste,” seventh grader, Daniel Lynn said.

It’s a multi-feature app where students can pre-order what they want for lunch.

The cafeteria would then have a guideline for what and how much to cook.

Olde Towne is competing with 94 other teams across the country.

Here is how you can help, text the word “lunch” to the number 2-2-3-3-3.

Only one vote per phone is accepted, voting is open now through tomorrow February 14.

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