Inspiration

Hunger and food security is a serious issue that affects almost 9% of the world's population despite there being more than enough food resources to provide for the world's population. We realized that the root problem is the distribution and accessibility of food that has caused the level of world hunger to increase each year.

We decided to take on Challenge #1 and create a platform to help people have easier access to food resources that are most relevant.

What it does

The Daily Bread project works by allowing users to input their own preferences and information. First, the user can input their location preferences by setting the number of km from their location that food resources should be within. Next, the user inputs details that might restrict their eligibility to certain food banks.

These restrictions include income level, proof of identification, proof of address, and hydro & rent expenses. This is a key feature with our project because it helps filter out food banks a person would not be eligible for, saving time and efficiently detecting food banks that the user can access.

Additionally, Daily Bread allows for food bank organizations to register their services with our website to add themselves to our database. In this way, our website will be able to grow and stay up to date with new resources. Our homepage also features some of our registered food banks.

How I built it

We used HTML, CSS, and Javascript to design the website and we used JQuery and PHP for the back-end to submit and retrieve data from a (hypothetical) database. We used both repl.it and Visual Studio for our IDEs.

We also implemented the Google Maps API and customized our map with icons and graphics that we designed ourselves. The Google Maps API is designed to take the data from food banks that the user qualified for (according to their inputs on our HTML form) and map out the locations of given food banks on a map. Different colored apples represent how well the food banks match with the user’s preferences and eligibility.

Challenges I ran into

We wanted to set up a database but found it difficult to create a free environment with a working database and front-end, so we decided to focus on designing the website and simulating the programming for a hypothetical database to connect to.

Another issue was finding reliable APIs with information about food banks and other resources/requirements so we decided to use a combination of Google Maps APIs and our own database to collect information from food banks. Another practical solution was creating a form for food banks to reach out to us and register their services on the site.

Accomplishments that I'm proud of

We are most proud of creating something that could have a real, positive impact in promoting food security. We successfully reach our goal of launching a mostly functioning prototype of a platform to connect people to food resources within the hackathon period. Our project works as designed and has a large potential influence in making the world more hunger-free. There is also lots of room for growth so we plan to continue improving our project and bringing Daily Bread to our local communities.

We’re also proud of the way we worked together as a group and used each of our diverse skill sets to our advantage while learning many new things along the way, from each other, from workshops, and from exploring on our own.

What I learned

Overall, the majority of our team didn't have much experience in web development and quickly found our way around HTML, especially forms, as well as CSS, JavaScript and JQuery. We learned about new attributes and HTML elements by experimenting and researching online. We also found it was valuable to have strong communication to collaborate with each other.

Beyond programming, we learned a lot about the global hunger crisis in general and how technology can be used to solve real world problems.

What's next for Daily Bread

We will definitely expand on our current Daily Bread prototype.

Some additions we look forward to implementing include creating a web scraper and connecting our project to government sources for more food bank information. Also, we want to setting up a better database to store information.

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