Many events hosted by large organizations often have too much leftover food, which is typically thrown out and wasted. However, in nearby communities, many people struggle to have a stable source of income, and thus an unstable source of nutrition.
How it works
Events with extra food fill out a form about the event, including information such as the address of the event and what type of food they are serving. This information is put into a format of an SMS announcement, and is sent to people who have signed up for the service and are also within the same zip code as the event.
How we built it
The front-end of the website was built using HTML and CSS, and the ability to send SMS messages was implemented using Python, Python Flask, and the Twilio API.
Challenges we ran into
We initially started with a completely different project idea, but upon research we realized that with our limited coding experience, that project would not be able to be accomplished realistically. We lost some time trying to come up with new ideas, but when we decided on Find My Food, we had to learn how to use the Twilio API with Python and Python Flask. We also chose to use HTML and CSS for the front-end of the website, which we hadn't programmed in for awhile, so we had to refresh ourselves on that. There were some issues with getting the Python code to work with the HTML input boxes, but we eventually were able to figure those out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are proud that we were able to pick up and learn Python Flask and Twilio relatively quickly, as our group had varying levels of experience in Python and HTML. We are also happy that we were able to collaborate well with each other, especially in the brainstorming and planning stages of the project.
What we learned
We had no prior experience attending an event like this or working together as a group, and we learned valuable teamwork skills as well as increasing our knowledge on a few programming languages and APIs. We learned before coming to a hackathon it is best to have a plan going into it to help us progress smoother.
What's next for Find My Food
As some potential next steps we can move the platform into a phone app, allowing the app to contact people who do not wish to receive an SMS. We could also implement a map location that is sent with the SMS, to allow users of the service to easily find the organizer's location.