Inspiration

One team member is writing a report about how the Covid-19 pandemic affected the homeless population so far and how it may continue to do so during the winter. One critical aspect was related to accessing food, since food pantries and banks lacked the resources, in both food quantity and staff, to support the influx of patrons. If an app could help people facing food insecurity discover which food providers closest to them are open and when, perhaps they could have a greater chance of obtaining the meals they need to survive.

What it does

Food Finder displays a google map with several food providers as labeled markers, plotted based on longitude and latitude of the addresses. It the displayed a flag icon marker as the user's geolocation of their current device, again based on latitude and longitude. Although we did not reach its final functionality of filtering locations based off when they are opened and closed and the proximity to the user's geolocation, Food Finder is a start to the process of increasing accessibility to the city's resources. The homeless population of each city is still a part of the city, and does not deserve to be forgotten, especially in all of the incredible struggles they have faced due to an emergency situation like the pandemic we are currently living through.

How we built it

We first installed and ran node, express, and react to host the local server, then implemented the google map API. We scraped the data of New York City food pantries from https://www.foodbanknyc.org/get-help/ and converted it into a Json file so that we can utilize the data within the google map. Finally, we used the coordinates to map the markers and gave contents to the information windows.

Challenges we ran into

As beginner hackers, we were unfamiliar with much of the software to support front and back end web development and the Javascript language. It was a learning curve for everything, and we ran into challenges with implementing the google api, showing the markers and their labels on the map, and importing the csv to json then into react (but we simplified our prototype to just a two dimensional array with a few locations).

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We were proud of learning new languages and softwares, especially when we watched our map and markers appear for the first time!

What we learned

We learned Javascript, how to install and run node, express, and react, how to display a google map and plot markers, how to work with json and csv files, and how to use Github!!

What's next for Food Finder

The next step for food finder is going to be implementing the filter based on day and time, adding more food pantry locations to the map, and expanding the use of the app beyond New York City.

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