Off to Market is an SMS application helps people find fresh food in their area. How does it work? The process is simple: Text an address or intersection to  (515) 203-3298 - any address that Google can decode will work. The application replies to you with the name, address, & distance of the closest farmers' markets. To save texting fees, the app will reply with only one text message (the number of farmers' markets return varies depending on how long their name is). Rationale Americans are eating crap that is making us fat. Figures from the CDC show that about 1 in 3 Americans is obese. One of the underlying reasons for this is lack of access to fresh fruits & vegetables. Off to Marketis combatting this problem using the lowest common denominator of modern communication, the SMS text message. The rationale is simple, if we can provide a simple interface to help people locate the fresh food in their area, then maybe they will eat it. The Technology The app is written in JavaScript, using Node.js.  All the telephony is handled through the Tropo WebAPI and costs about a penny per text. The Farmers' Market data comes (originally) from the USDA listing of Farmers' Markets.  I then cleaned the data, converted it to GeoJSON format, and created a geo-aware API (as documented in this blog post). The Code & Resources All of the source code for this application can be found on GitHub along with installation instructions. Source code for the Node.js server. Endpoint for the Farmers' Market API. The Tropo website. All of the code is open source; refer to the README file in each repository for specific license information. Please direct any bugs to the Issues page of GitHub and submit a pull request for any fixes. Also, if you are interested in the app supporting your area, drop me a line and I’ll walk you through the steps.

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