There are students on campus who run out of food points over the course of the semester. For some, this isn’t the worst thing ever, because their parents can add points via FLEX. For others who come from a low-income background, adding more funds to FLEX is not an option. For these students, worrying about how they are going to pay for their next meal can be a huge source of stress that they have to cope with on top of academic, extracurricular, and social stressors. Some students at the end of the semester end up with hundreds of food points that are never used. Instead of having these food points go to waste, students should be able to donate their extra food points to students who could really use them.

What it does

Our code has 3 functions. The first function allows the user to check their food point balance (linked with their netid) and see if they are above or below the recommended food point balance (depending on date in the semester). The second function allows the user to submit a request for food points with a short description and the amount needed. The third function allows users to donate food points to people who have requested them.

How we built it

We brainstormed ideas for around an hour, and felt that there is a need for this app on campus. We made an object called FPAccount that keeps track of the netid, food point count, and food point plan of each student. We then created a class that successfully performs the 3 functions described above. We also automated a system of creating a student profile text file using a MasterList of student information.

Challenges we ran into

Some of the challenges we ran into while coding were thinking of and accounting for all of the exceptions and errors that might take place. For example, the program would throw an exception if the netid does not exist, or if the amount of food points requested is not a number.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Food insecurity on Duke’s campus is real, and this would address that inequality.

What we learned

We learned that there’s actually a lot of things we can do just with our limited knowledge of coding from class, that would genuinely benefit students on campus.

What's next for Food Points Forward

The next step for us working with Duke administration to implement this system, and learning more about financial aid packages and what they cover with regards to food on campus.

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