During these unprecedented times, it can be difficult or impossible for people to get basic supplies without risking themselves or others. The idea for this platform was to help protect those most vulnerable and allow them to receive weekly supplies with help from friends and family.
What it does
The platform is designed around the concept of 'groups', which contain different roles including a supplier, receivers, and collectors.
Supplier: a charity, food bank, supermarket, or government entity that us able to provide essential supplies.
Receiver: a vulnerable or elderly person who is unable to leave the house for basic supplies, for their own protection.
Collector: either a volunteer or a friend/family member of a receiver - someone who is able to collect and deliver hampers from a supplier to a receiver.
When suppliers add their weekly hampers, they are automatically allocated to receivers. A supplier can then assign them to collectors, or collectors can view what's been made available and assign themselves. Once assigned, that collector is responsible for collection and delivery of that hamper, the status of which is tracked in the platform.
How we built it
The platform is built on a core stack of postgres, node/express, and react, and hosted on Azure. We also used Azure DevOps for our workflow management and deployment.
Challenges we ran into
For most of us, it is our first time working with react for our frontend library. Also, balancing our usual 9-5 job with working on the hackathon.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Firstly we are proud to have completed what we set out to do as the MVP version of our project (and a little more), and also to have it fully deployed and available to use.
Halfway through the project, we had some interest in the platform, and had to quickly pivot some requirements to fit their needs, so it was an achievement to get it ready in time.
What we learned
A lot about react, and a little about express. Also, using Azure instead of GitHub/Gitlab which we are all used to.
What's next for Hamper Connect
We are currently working with a military planner in Warwickshire, UK, who wants to use our platform to help distribute food from the local government 'shielding hubs'. If it goes well, it could be rolled out around the country!