At Howard University, students can participate in the Alternative Spring Break program, which involves serving in communities in need across the US, as well as in Accra, Ghana and Puerto Rico. Recently, one of our team members volunteered with the Youth Empowerment and Food Insecurity initiative in Charleston, West Virginia. Witnessing the impact of food insecurity in that community inspired us to take action and bring about positive change. We recognized the surplus of food in these communities and the lack of access that many people have to it. In response, we created a sustainable system to help address this issue while also benefiting the environment and fostering a sense of community. We are excited to introduce our new app, Food System, which connects individuals with free food in their community, rather than allowing it to go to waste.
What does it do?
The Food system app has several key features that aim to reduce food waste and support those in need within the community. Firstly, the app allows users to receive notifications about Pantry requests for unused food in the neighborhood. This feature could help users to identify food items that they have in excess and may be willing to donate to those in need.
Secondly, the app alerts users of all local food pantries in the area, which could be useful for individuals who are looking for food assistance . Thirdly, the app displays drop off points for users to safely deliver their donated food items. This feature ensures that users can interact with others in a safe and secure manner, while also making it easier for them to contribute to their community.
Fourthly, the app alerts users of people within the community who have unwanted or unused food items that they are willing to donate. This feature could be particularly useful for individuals who may have excess food items that they are unable to use or consume.
Finally, the app displays possible recipes for the items available in the user's kitchen. The feature that displays possible recipes for the items available in the user's kitchen could be particularly useful for users who have limited resources or who are considering requesting an item from a local pantry. By providing recipe ideas, the app can help users to make the most out of the food items they have on hand or are looking to receive, thereby reducing waste and maximizing their nutritional value. Additionally, this feature can encourage users to get creative with their cooking, which can be especially helpful for those who may be on a tight budget or have limited access to fresh ingredients.
Overall, the Food system app has several valuable features that aim to promote community engagement and support those in need.There is yet to be another app that has all the options we do
What we learnt
We were able to gain a thorough understanding of flutter, dart technology, and integrate that into our system, as well as dealing with APIs. What team is made up of first time hackers and this is the first time making an app from scratch. This experience was very inspiring rewarding and overall fun!
What we used
In building the app we used Flutter to make the login page. The log in page quest the user further email and password. In the app the first screen that is shown to the user is asking them "What is their location?" The user can input just their street address, and the Apple take them to a map of where they are at in their community and the food options in the community. There is a brief description showing the most popular food eaten in the community and the available foods ready to traded. He chose to use flutter because of its ability to integrates external packages to help us deal with the location based services and the API usage that we needed for our app.
Some challenges that were faced during the building of the app would have been making sure that the data was being transferred throughout the pages. An issue that we ran into was dealing with what package I wanted to use for the location based service. To ensure that our users privacy was secure, we didn't want to ask to use her for their sure location and preferred for them to have typed it.
What's next for this app is to integrate a system where people in their community can upload their own recipes and share that amongst their community!
Adding features to our app, such as using external packages to relay and showed a user the location of the community that they want to get food from. Dealing with future functions and flutter and getting them to actually function. Finally, making an app that could actually be published today!
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