Project Category-Finance

Food Support is an app that can truly help people struggling during these uncertain economic times. People during this crisis are looking for ways to save money, especially business owners and those who run social programs and organizations. Food Support is a finance mobile application since it is designed to help food banks to keep track of their inventory, optimize operations, and limit expenses and costs. It is tailored to food support volunteers and organizers to communicate with each other, set up virtual events for fundraising, and generally assist to maintain inventory and lower costs.

What is your project Name?

The project name is the Food Support iOS mobile application.

What languages is the app built with?

Food Support App was built in Xcode using Swift

Brief Project description

Food Support is an iOS mobile application aimed at food banks and similar organizations to help them communicate better with each other to tackle food issues and help optimize food bank operations.

This project is a mobile application tailored to food banks and similar organizations. This mobile application allows registered users to look up and help local food banks with donations, communication, volunteering, and coordinate events to maintain smooth operations. Users can search in the app for local food banks, register as food bank organizations, set up inventory lists, and communicate with other registered food banks to discuss issues and set up events. Users can search through each food bank, gathering information such as the amount of inventory and donations requested. Users can chat with other food banks to discuss current topics, operations, inventory, and other issues food banks are facing during this crisis. This mobile app would allow more direct communication between food banks, which helps alleviate issues during this pandemic.

How did you get the idea to build the project?

We got this idea to build this project when we noticed that some of the local food banks online were closed to the public and had no public events planned in the near future. The current COVID-19 pandemic significantly limited the operations of food banks in terms of donations and opening hours. So, We began to think of what would help these social organizations during these challenging times. We got the idea of building an app to help these organizations to set up virtual meetings and help their operations by providing tools to better serve their needs. We sought to create an iOS mobile app tailored to these specific organizations, to help alleviate some of the burden placed on them during this crisis.

What is the purpose of the app?

The purpose of this app is to help people who run food banks by providing certain tools to help their several needs. It is designed to help specifically people who operate or volunteer at food banks to keep track of their inventory, set up virtual donation drives, and communicate with other food banks in order to best optimize their operations. Food Support is being built for the purpose of helping these people get through this current crisis, and thus not only helping food bank organizers but also people who are dependent on such social organizations in their daily lives.

What is next after this project?

After this project, We will conduct more research into ways and methods that can be incorporated in these apps and other projects to further help food banks and similar organizations. We will see if we can incorporate new ideas, better ways to code to improve this app, and what features can be improved on to better serve in future projects and current implementations.

How is it beneficial to society?

Food support will be beneficial to both food bank organizers and local communities for a number of reasons. First, during these trying times, individuals, groups, and business owners are currently dealing with several issues in food production, delivery, and storage. Food Support will help alleviate some of these concerns by helping groups of people to organize, maintain, and deliver much-needed food and amenities to those in need. Many people are reliant on these organizations to feed themselves on a day-by-day basis, and helping food banks organize and operate at a more optimal level will lead to better service to local communities. Second, it would also serve individuals who seek the assistance of food banks to know contact information, current operations, and more information on how to help food banks.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into a couple challenges while coding this app. We set out to include three big functions in our app, location tracking, log in and registration and a chat function. As we began working, we very quickly ran out of time to code everything and as we were trying to rush, we made errors so we inevitably had to cut down on the features of our application. With this app we had to work and learn features none of us knew. Learning and implementing "Firebase" into our application to allow food banks to get registered with us and in the future, to be able communicate and plan food donation events within our application. We also ran into issues coding the front end of the application as we had to sacrifice aesthetics for the sake of functionality and the user experience.

Accomplishments that we are proud of?

We are proud of having finished this mobile app project that will incorporate many features into a mobile application. We were able to connect different systems into one app to work functionally as a prototype. We were able to apply what we already know about Xcode programming into an app that incorporates all my teachings and to learn more about how to develop a mobile application of this magnitude.

What did we learn?

That including plenty of options and systems into an application can be a daunting challenge. That great amount of time and effort is necessary to finish this project of such a daunting size. This project is quite jam-packed with features, coding, and potential missteps to avoid. That any mistake can reset hours of work, and having to start all over again. The importance of planning and setting aside time to work out issues and mistakes in coding and programming was well pronounced while working on this project.

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