We wanted to build this because there is a clear need to connect those who need assistance with those who can offer it.
What it does
MealRelief is more versatile and anonymous than traditional food banks. MealRelief is available as a web application to allows food providers (like restaurants and grocery stores) to donate servings of fresh, edible meals that would otherwise become food waste. Users can then search for food near their location and anonymously claim free meals.
How we built it
MealRelief's frontend website application was built with React. The main page’s map and pinned restaurants is implemented with the Azure Maps API. We also created a REST API for communication between the database and the frontend with Django. And finally built our database with SQLite.
Challenges we ran into
Connecting React events to trigger changes in the backend and update the app accordingly was a big challenge, and something to work towards implementing efficiently in future iterations of the product. User authentication was difficult to implement especially as it was both our first time working with Django and implementing user authentication. We had to rethink our database schema halfway through development as we realized our current schema did not fully suit our needs.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're really proud that we were able to connect our backend and frontend successfully! You can now sign up as a food provider and post live listings of your donations while tracking a list of claimed codes. Additionally for users, using Azure maps we were able to make our website more user-friendly by loading a list of nearby restaurants!
What we learned
All of us were able to work with new technologies and learn about new frameworks, libraries and APIs! In particular, we learned how to handle API requests on both the front-end and back-end, and work with new services like Azure Maps.
What's next for MealRelief
MealRelief is looking to implement more features with Azure maps, such as a search bar for nearby locations and their distance! Additionally, we hope to see more user and provider authentication features so that MealLife can more secure.