'Gain the Grain' drew inspiration from the kind, brave delivery workers during the 2020 COVID-19 epidemic - ordinary people who risk their lives to make grocery runs for their vulnerable neighbors (ex. senior citizens, pregnant women, young children, individuals with respiratory illnesses) in locations where grocery stores typically do not offer delivery.

What it does

Currently, no formalized system exists to connect these delivery workers with receivers. Our website connects grocers (people willing to purchase groceries) to receivers (people in need of groceries). Receivers can easily make an account to add groceries to their list, select nearby registered grocers to pick up the supplies they need, and view their account status (whether they have been connected with a grocer, grocery arrival time, etc.). Similarly, ordinary people can volunteer as delivery workers once they register with our platform, browse receivers and select at-risk receivers in their community.

How we built it

We built the web application from scratch on ‘Glitch’ via Express. We utilized HTML handlebars (hbs) and CSS to render the various web pages, NeDB as our storage database, as well as server-side and client-side javascript. Our website features input validation (preventing empty or invalid input), our own custom logo and concealed passwords.

Challenges we ran into

One challenge included that only Srilakshmi was an experienced web-developer, while Khushmeet, Stuti, and Mitali had to learn on the job and develop their skills from the beginner-level. Another challenge included a few issues with Glitch - some developers were locked out of the platform for an extended period of time and a few files would not be updated immediately even after editing. We, often, had to rely on self-learning to incorporate features such as the concealed passwords and input validation.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are mainly proud of how far we’ve come in just 3 days of coding. For most of us, web development was completely new, so building a functioning website was an exciting and rewarding experience that diversified our programming skills.

What we learned

Khushmeet learned how to style and design websites to make them visually appealing with CSS. Mitali and Stuti both learned much about handlebars, middleware, server-side and client-side Javascript. Srilakshmi expanded upon the above mentioned skills as well as Ajax/JQuery and cookies on the new Glitch platform and learned how to use a new type of database, NeDB.

What's next for Gain the Grain

We hope to include a feature in which the receivers are able to compensate the delivery workers, many of whom may be unemployed (about 1 in 5 Americans are now unemployed) due to the epidemic. Improving grocer-receiver communication, like implement a chat feature, would streamline the grain-gaining process. We also plan on also launching an partnership with grocery stores, since many grocery stores, specifically during the epidemic, limit the amount of food that each customer can buy. If we had a partnership with these grocery stores, we might be able to grant exceptions for the delivery workers who buy extra food not for themselves, but for others in need. Additionally, in order to update our styling/organization, we hope to use BootStrap in the future.

Hack the Helyx Hackathon

Thanks to all those at the Hack the Helyx Hackathon for initiating this event!

Share this project: