2020 being a difficult year is a severe understatement. While many people struggled with accepting the significance of COVID-19, many other people struggled with other issues such as joblessness, homelessness, and food insecurity. The concept behind FoodX is to solve food insecurity by making it easier to connect those who have food to donate with those who need food. Through FoodX we will try to dramatically decrease the amount of food that ends up in U.S. landfills every year. When our users connect via FoodX, they help solve the problem of food waste while also strengthening ties to their local communities. With FoodX we can do more than survive. We can thrive.

What it does

FoodX facilitates food donation. It's that simple. Some of the largest hurdles to donating food identified by restaurants and retail/wholesale grocery facilities is a worry about liability as well as the transportation and storage of donated foods. FoodX solves this problem by allowing donors and recipients to communicate as directly as possible. The ease of this build is that it can connect the users in a very short time, thus eliminating the transportation and storage issues. FoodX also educates users on ways to reduce food waste and the legalities around food donation in the United States.

How we built it

The lifecycle of our project began with the logo. Crislana created the FoodX logo with an understated reference to the logo of a popular package delivery service. The idea behind this was that, by acting as an intermediary between providers and recipients, FoodX will deliver a resource to reduce food waste and food insecurity.

As neither of us had much experience with coding full projects on the back or front-end, we decided to use a platform that would best assist us in making the project, which is how we chose Qoom. From there, Crislana focused on creating an accessible and aesthetically pleasing design and layout for the website. She used HTML/CSS/Javascript to create an interactive user experience and further used Qoom's built-in database function to store the user data to access it later, when needed for the chat function.

While Crislana focused on the user experience and enhancing the aesthetics of the webpage, Rebecca continued research into specific facts surrounding food waste, food recycling, and food donation. Rebecca also researched information on the ways individuals could behave to also help minimize food waste. As a secondary goal of this project is to educate people on how to reduce food waste, it was necessary to research these topics and find a way to seamlessly integrate it into the webpage.

From Crislana: We used Qoom as a workspace and to deploy our website, which is done with html, css, and javascript

Challenges we ran into

The first major challenge we ran into was determining how to access the user information that was created and stored after every new user registration. Qoom was helpful, both in the Hydrangea Hack Discord and the general Qoom discord, to answer questions on how to manage and access user information.

Another challenge we encountered was determining how to create communication between the two roles, FoodX provider and recipient. Qoom was also helpful in this regard by allowing us to utilize the tutorial that detailed the specific steps to take in creating a chat tool as well as how we could use the chat tool specifically for the two identified roles in FoodX.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Crislana: We are proud of building a finished, working product. Learning more about web sockets, json data, login systems. For Rebecca, this is her first hackathon so we're also proud of working as a team and learning how to determine features, project schedule.

Rebecca: We are most proud of our communication throughout the weekend of this hackathon as well as the fact that we were able to create a project that works the way we intended. We were in different time zones and didn't form our team until the last possible moment on the first day of the hackathon. Despite that, we were able to collaborate well with each other. The functionality of our webpage is also something we are proud of because of just how much we learned this weekend.

What we learned

We learned more about the project lifecycle. Specifically, we learned that the lifecycle of a project involves many different parts and that is important to have an idea of what the end result will be so that the project remains focused during its development. We learned how to collaborate on a team to see the development of a coding project through to the end, including brainstorming when it seemed like we were stuck.

What's next for FoodX

We would like to see FoodX scaled significantly. We initially created this project with a very local location in mind. To assist in scaling the project we would possibly need to create more specific filtering methods. We may want to integrate a map into the program so that users can filter respondents and be matched via their location to ensure local donations. Scaling this project could also involve adding additional types of donations, such as donating for food recycling/composting instead of for human consumption.

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