Inspiration

'''We’ve all felt that twinge of guilt for throwing out a mostly full carton of milk at its expiration date, but few people notice how much food our local supermarket wastes. After passing through the trash cans of a grocery store last year, we were surprised to see them filled with edible fruits and vegetables, perfectly good to eat. Due to high delivery cost of shipping this food to shelters, supermarkets instead throw away 43 billion pounds of food every year, which constitutes 10 percent of U.S. total food waste. However, 800 million people in the world still suffer from hunger. These staggering statistics inspired us to build a web application that incentivizes grocery shoppers to donate money to assist with leftover supermarket food delivery to those who need it the most.'''

What it does

'''FoodSavers encourages people to sponsor supermarkets to deliver foods that are about to expire to shelters. It allows users to find and mark local supermarkets near them with the Google Maps API. If you decide to go grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s, click on its icon on the map, you will see a list of delivery dates of leftover food items to local shelters, as well as the monetary goal that must be reached in order to make the delivery. After picking a delivery, you can enter the amount of money you want to donate. The backend Django database updates dynamically on the frontend to reflect all unique user donations. So not only can you see a complete view of delivery dates, you can see a progress bar that dynamically updates to represent everyone's contributions. This creates a community of collaboration as now everyone is working together to reach a daily donation goal. Additionally, the donation summary in your account profile displays your impact to the environment and to people who face starvation. The more you donate, the less food you waste, and the more coupons you get from the supermarket.

How we built it

'''We used the Google Javascript Maps API to build a tool for users to sponsor supermarkets to deliver expiring foods to shelters to avoid food waste. In order to build the website, we used a backend Django sqlite database to integrate features so that users can pick supermarkets around them that have food wastes, decide the amount to contribute, and check their profile for yearly summary. The backend Django database kept track of user submission and data and rendered database changes real-time to the front end web application. As for the front-end, tools such as React, HTML, CSS, JSX, and JavaScript were utilized.'''

Challenges we ran into

'''Since we are all new to React, Django, and Google Maps API, we had to work with what we learned during the hackathon from watching videos. Debugging and making frontends and backends compile were exhausting, but we figured out the solution by collaborating. Furthermore, the integration process was incredibly challenging for all of us. Moreover, one of our team members (Freda) was in Singapore, so we had to make plans that accommodated different time zones.'''

Accomplishments that we're proud of

'''We were able to brainstorm an original idea, prototype the design, and implement it in web application in a short period of time, even though we had very little experience and operated from different time zones. FoodSaver is something that we really believe can help people change the course of supermarket food waste. '''

What we learned

'''We enjoyed the steep learning curve of Django, React(HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JSX), and Google Maps API in the past few days. Trying to make all the code compile was challenging but rewarding. Beside these technologies, we were much better at detecting problems our society faces and brainstorming solutions that are both realistic and impactful. We also discovered a way to specialize and bring out each other’s strong points. '''

What's next for FoodSavers

'''Going forward, we plan to actualize the following features:

  1. Enable Search and Matching: shelter can put out a request, which activates a search for fast-food supermarkets and restaurants in the area that have extra food.
  2. Match up a donator and an individual member from the food shelter based on an algorithm so they can come together and share a meal. We almost finished creating the two-user compatibility algorithm and the frontend.'''
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