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Photo: Tech Collective
Photo: Tech Collective

A group of students at Queens College that allows users to learn about and find Halal food in the area.

The app, which is called Hungry4Halal, launched on Aug. 19 and was developed by five students who were enrolled in Professor Gina Keatley’s International Cuisine class.

During one of the class’s “Eat and Tell” session, Keatley noticed that when her Muslim students spoke about Halal dishes to their classmates, it sparked wider conversations about culture and religion and allowed the students an opportunity to act as cultural ambassadors.

“This is how the Hungry4Halal idea was born,” Keatley said. “The app fills a need for the user, as well as its creators. Users have an easily accessible way to learn about and enjoy Halal food, and the creators have an opportunity they might not otherwise have had to educate others about aspects of their culture.”

The Hungry4Halal app offers a dine-in and eat-out option. The dine-in section offers recipes and a search function so users can find recipes by title or ingredient while the eat-out section uses a mapping function to locate the user and pinpoint the nearest eateries offering Halal selections.

The app also features a video library of the team presenting cooking demonstrations as well as videos from around the web.

“When I think about the best experiences I’ve had working on teams, what comes to mind is the feeling of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment,” said Afroja Mustofa, a student working on the app. “I was very motivated to work on the app because I gained valuable tech and business experience. It’s also something I did for my community. By working on the app, I was able to share my knowledge of and experience with Halal food. I think our community will see long-term benefits in sharing aspects of our culture with the world.”

The app is available for free on iOS and Android.

The student team that developed the app includes Afroja Mustofa, Kashfi Fahim, Sharmin Joya, Christopher Almodovar and Rumana Rumman. The students involved are a part of the school’s partnership with Simmer, a new tech and food collaboration program between the Queens College Tech Incubator (QCTI) and the school’s Food, Nutrition, and Exercise Sciences Department (FNES) that unites students from multidisciplinary fields to create food- and health-related technologies.

“What an extraordinary demonstration of learning through diversity, something that we are well acquainted with at Queens College,” said Félix V. Matos Rodríguez, president of Queens College. “A vital component of a diverse learning environment is a faculty skilled in bringing students together in ways that demonstrate there is more that unites than divides us.”

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