Every year, an estimated 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally, amounting to 2.6 trillion dollars annually, which is more than enough to feed all 815 million hungry people in the world ten times over. Although inefficient consumer habits are contributors, the majority of food waste comes from the supply chain majorly constituting distributors, retailers and restaurants. As 12th Grade High School Students from Bangalore, India, we envisioned our app DonateAPlate which allows local restaurants, supermarkets as well as individual donors to donate, daily or weekly, the excess unused food by setting up highly customizable donations through the app.
What it does
DonateAPlate allows local restaurants, supermarkets as well as individual donors to donate, daily or weekly, the excess unused food by setting up highly customizable donations through the app. In addition, NGOs and other charity organizations can view and sort nearby donations for pickup, by requesting donations from the donors. The entire system allows feasible communication between the 2 entities directly through the app, and also allocates points for each successful donation, calculated based upon, distance, food weight, etc, and users can view monthly leaderboards to see how their social work stacks up against other users.
The app portrays a stunning UI design accompanied by an interactive user experience, allowing for clean navigation and modern usability.
How we built it
The app was developed on Android Studio deployed on the Gradle Framework with 20,000+ Lines of code, in Java, Kotlin & XML. Various APIs such as the Google Maps & Places APIs were integrated into the app. The Backend data storage was built on Firebase and implemented FireStore, Firebase Realtime Database, Firebase User Authentication & Firebase ML.
Challenges we ran into
Initially we were unsure whether we would be able to complete the app & fully implement it in time for the submission. We had to do a lot of adjustments like choosing a suitable database for efficient and feasible backend development, which is why we chose Firebase. In addition, we had to plan out the maximum number of features we could implement in the time interval, making adjustments along the way. But at the end, everything turned out well, and we have a stunning video accompanying our completed product.
What we learned
Throughout the course of the project, we learnt various UI/UX architecture practices as well as efficient models set up on the Firebase backend for efficient and economical database scaling & usage. Overall, we really boosted our app development skills through this project, and it was an enjoyable learning experience.
What's next for DonateAPlate
Since our app is logically scalable to all across the world, with virtually no constraints, since it acts as an efficient platform and link for restaurants/supermarkets to donate food to NGOs, with the sufficient help and guidance, we believe we can scale the app globally, and implement the objective with various restaurants / NGOs across the world, hopefully bringing about a smart, efficient and economical way to tackle the ongoing food crisis (which has been especially critical, due to the amplification caused by the pandemic), while at the same time, cutting down the unholy amount of food wasted by our species worldwide.