Inspiration

We knew food waste and food insecurity are major problems in America, so we thought about how we could ameliorate this problem. We predict that better communication between restaurants with a surplus of perfectly good food and food banks who aim to help those living in poverty will cause a decrease in both people living in food insecurity and amount of food wasted.

What it does

GrubShare bridges the gap between restaurants and food banks by offering a fast and efficient way for _ restaurants to let food banks know they have surplus food that day _ and displaying _ the shortest route among restaurants for food bank drivers _.

How we built it

We built GrubShare using Python and a Django Framework, with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We also implemented ESRI's Route Selector API to find the most efficient routes for a given set of restaurants.

Challenges we ran into

We ran into a lot of issues with Django and ESRI's API since half of our team was not experienced with programming a project of this scale.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We're proud of finishing a product from start to finish within 24 hours. We're also proud of the fact that it addresses real social issues with a pragmatic solution.

What we learned

Delegating work between teammates made the work less intensive on each of us and allowed us to specialize in aspects we excel at. Teamwork makes the dream work!

What's next for GrubShare

We plan on improving the web application with the help of our Computer Science department at Washington and Lee University, introducing it to food banks in Lexington, VA, such as Campus Kitchen, as well as restaurants. We hope our application will have a positive impact.

49 million Americans are living in food insecurity while 70 billion pounds of food goes to waste annually in the United States. GrubShare is an all-in-one platform for connecting food banks to restaurants and grocers with excess food. Donors simply indicate the quantity and value of their excess food and volunteers and employees of food banks are notified. Then, site provides a fastest-calculated route to pick up a series of donations in a timely fashion. The program automatically tracks donations and provides up-to-date tax-deductible savings for businesses who are able to save 25% on otherwise sunk costs—while simultaneously feeding hungry people. Food banks reduce costs, increase their ability to server a larger market, and require less staff to coordinate an otherwise labor intensive process.

Donors save thousands of dollars. Food banks increase impact. And GrubShare solves food insecurity, one meal at a time.

Advantages- Our advantage is simple: no other platform is more user friendly, takes less than 20 seconds to make a donation, or integrates the power of ArcGIS map technology to make the fastest, most efficient routes possible.

The Technical Side-

There are two primary users for GrubShare: Food Banks and Food Providers (i.e. restaurants, grocers, and stores with excess food that would otherwise be discarded). New users register accounts and then have access to a series of primary functions:

Food Providers: On any given day, if a Food Provider has excess food, they may submit a form to indicate the quantity and value of their intended donation. They will receive an automatic notification of when the food will be picked up. Food Providers’ accounts will also have a running total of meals provided and dollars saved via tax deductible donations. In order to encourage frequent donations, the home page of the site will eventually provide statistics on top-donors.

Food Banks: Having selected a specific service region, Food Banks receive donation notifications from Food Providers in that area. Registered Food Banks may log in to their account to see a series of pins on a map of their region to see the donations of that day. Based on potentially limited resources, Food Banks select the donation sites they will be able to visit. Then, using ArcGIS map technology, they receive the fastest-possible route between locations, automatically notifying Food Providers of their estimated arrival times. Additionally, there are plans to implement a ranking system to note the quality and reliability of donations from Food Providers. Food Banks may choose to decline offers from Food Suppliers who frequently have expired or inedible donations.

GrubShare seeks to tackle one of the most prominent social problems of the 21st century by providing cutting edge technology to the non-profit sector. Reduce waste and feed the hungry by sharing grub with GrubShare.

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