Karl R. Wurst
Karl R. Wurst
508-929-8728 kwurst@worcester.edu
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University of Connecticut
Computer Science & Engineering
University of Connecticut
Computer Science
Central Connecticut State University
Computer Science




Wurst, Karl R., Christopher Radkowski, Stoney Jackson, Heidi J. C. Ellis, Darci Burdge, Lori Postner, "LibreFoodPantry: Developing a Multi-Institutional, Faculty-Led, Humanitarian Free and Open Source Software Community, SIGCSE '20: Proceedings of the 51st ACM Technical Symposium on Computer Science Education, February 2020, pp 441-447

Engaging students in humanitarian free and open source software (HFOSS) projects allows them to gain real-world software development skills while helping society. Participating in an existing HFOSS project, although ripe with learning opportunities, presents a number of hurdles for faculty and students. An alternative to joining an existing HFOSS project community is to participate in a faculty-led HFOSS project. These projects provide the instructor with more control over the learning environment, but often lack an active community outside of the classroom. This paper describes a multi-institutional effort to engage a community of developers in creating humanitarian open source projects to support their on-campus food pantries. Food insecurity on campus has become a national concern and many institutions have, or are starting, food pantries to support the student, staff, and faculty community. Starting a faculty-led HFOSS project involves making decisions not only about the features of the project but also about community norms, tool choices, project development workflow, and inter-institution cooperation. This paper provides an overview of the creation of LibreFoodPantry, a community who is developing a suite of projects that support on-campus food pantries. It describes instances of using LibreFoodPantry's projects in various classroom settings, the lessons learned from these experiences, and the resulting discussions and decisions made by the LibreFoodPantry Coordinating Committee. This process has led to a community dedicated to easing the on-ramp for faculty who want to help their students contribute to an HFOSS project.