When I was analyzing data on Richmond, California for a class, I discovered that single mothers had disproportionately higher rates of poverty and food insecurity than the overall population in this city. I also found that many people I talked to who applied for CalFresh, California's food stamps (SNAP) program, found the registration process complicated and confusing. To address food insecurity in low-income, female-led households, as well as simplify the process of registering for food assistance programs for the millions of Americans who have recently been impacted economically by COVID-19, I built a chatbot that helps individuals sign up for CalFresh.

What it does

Freshie is a chatbot that walks users through the process of registering for CalFresh. The virtual assistant guides users through every step of registration and also serves to clarify information. Freshie also serves as a virtual case worker and can answer questions related to CalFresh eligibility, benefits, and duration.

How I built it

I built this virtual assistant using Google DialogFlow's natural language processing tools.

Challenges I ran into

The chatbot would at first end the conversation immediately after I would respond. I found the bug, and it turned out to be a simple fix!

What's Next for Freshie

In the future, I would like to use Freshie as a framework for virtual assistants that can help register people for food assistance programs in states beyond California.

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