Inspiration

13.5 million people live without adequate access to healthy food in the United States - 82% of those in urban areas. These zones are called "food deserts," characterized by the absence of supermarkets, limited transportation options, and citizens reliant on unhealthful food procured from convenience stores and corner markets. These adverse conditions can even lead to generational loss of cooking skills, in addition to a host of more serious issues like malnutrition.

It's time we do something about the problem! Our HackDuke team devised a system that pools requests for fresh food into mass deliveries, making it cost-effective and convenient for citizens of food deserts to obtain healthful nourishment.

What it does

We built a prototype of an Android application that collects addresses, food preferences and time availability from citizens of food deserts and stores them in a secure database. We intended it to also schedule deliveries from the closest supermarket at a time and place of maximum convenience for the recipients, and suggest recipes that match their cooking styles.

How we built it

Lots of teamwork and dedication, almost no sleep, and flexibility when we ran into challenges too big to solve in a weekend. In terms of tools, we used Android Studio, Java, and Git to develop the project and Adobe Creative Suite to create graphics.

Challenges we ran into

Getting version control set up had a large learning curve, as 3/4 of our members had never used VC on a sizable project. We also ran into a variety of weird Android bugs and some configuration challenges with Firebase, but with the help of mentors and some creative refactoring, we overcame!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Coming together as a team, finishing our idea, learning VC and Android Studio and having a lot of fun all in 24 hours.

What we learned

Version control best practices, Fragment/Activity/application lifecycle in Android, GUI design.

What's next for the Nourish team

Returning to Georgia Tech and University of Florida for some well earned rest, and maybe developing this idea into an actual social entrepreneurship venture - who knows!

References

https://www.fns.usda.gov/tags/food-desert-locator

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