RALEIGH. N.C. – This year marked the second annual Ready, Set, App! contest in North Carolina. The competition is sponsored by the North Carolina Business Committee for Education in partnership with Lenovo.

What You Need To Know

  • 'Ready, Set, App!' is an annual competition sponsored by the North Carolina Business Committee For Education
  • 47 teams participated in the second year of the contest
  • "We’re going to end this outbreak, for absolutely certain," Fauci pledged

The competition challenges students across the state to design an application that helps solve a problem in their school or community. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year the competition was held virtually.

Creators Siddharth Maruvada, Abhinav Meduri and Arnav Meduri are 9th graders at Enloe Magnet High School in Wake County. They made up Team Pantry Patrol to take home this year’s trophy.

“We decided to enter into this competition and develop an app that was not only for this competition but something that could directly impact and benefit this community. It’s something we want to grow and take beyond this,” Maruvada said.

The team designed an app called Pantry Patrol that tracks food at local food banks and pantries to eliminate food waste.

“After researching, we discovered one in six Americans are food insecure and 40% of all food in the U.S. is wasted. If we can reduce food waste by 15%, we could feed more than 25 million Americans annually,” Maruvada explained.

Team Pantry Patrol started their research last summer.

“We’ve been friends since 6th grade. We knew we would work well together, so we decided to take action about this problem, and we decided to develop an app that helps food pantries track, monitor and eliminate food waste,” Meduri said.

The app also helps pantries with their daily operations.

“The client can get the food they actually consume and at the same time, the food waste will be reduced because if a client can’t eat something then it’s probably going to end up in the waste. If the food pantry does not give that food to the client, it can be utilized elsewhere, cutting down on food waste and better tailoring to the needs of the client,” Maruvada said.

Besides challenges presented with actually developing an application from scratch, the team says with the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping them from in-person learning. They had to find a way to collaborate their ideas virtually through video-chat.

“We learned how to communicate. We learned how to effectively present. We learned many skills and we are really grateful for this experience,” Meduri said.

The team collaborated with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, A Touch of Father’s Love Food Pantry and Zion Christian Center to help determine which features could be developed for food pantries. 

Clarification: An earlier version of this story stated Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, A Touch of Father’s Love Food Pantry and Zion Christian Center are ulitizing the app. They are not using, but did collaborate with the team to help develop features.