Postal Greenhouse video

Background Covid-19 has overwhelmed local communities capacity to deliver fresh food to a growing number of residents. This spike in demand has had the greatest impact on the most vulnerable.

Concurrently, Covid-19 has disrupted local supply chains. “#45 No Canadian Hungry” and “#1101 Postal Greenhouse” have collaborated to find an innovative solution for both the short term and the new "norm" post-Covid-19.

Solutions Short-term: During the COVID-19 crisis, farmers, people/organizations with extra food, food banks and recipients can be matched through a real-time interactive referral app. This open-source mobile app allows those in need to locate the time and location for temporary drop-off points for food boxes.

Long-term: Post-COVID-19 development of a fully-functional app to match local food sellers with distributors will support social entrepreneurial farmers who can use the increased demand for four-season fresh food to build a sustainable agrifood ecosytem based on public-private partnerships at the local, national and global levels that support the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

How we built it We did research on the current solutions around food supply and demand mainly in Canada and identified the gaps. We interviewed stakeholders (local farmers, volunteers, people in need) to understand their main needs and pains amid the pandemic to validate and improve our ideas. We used FME platform for data conversion and hosting and connected geocodes on Google sheets with OGC GeoPackage database. We were lucky to have GIS, data administration, data analysis, and data visualization experts. Big shout out to our stakeholder interviewees whose insights inspired our final solution.

Challenges we ran into We focused on gathering the information in Ontario and Quebec and need more time to dig into other regions. We only managed to reach out to a few stakeholders to test out our ideas. During the interviews, we also discovered other new problems that we could solve. Many addresses did not geocode correctly because of difficulties with software. We need more time and resources to put together more holistic solutions that make an impact.

Accomplishments Committed team members with complementary knowledge and skills; from data analysis, user research, community volunteer activities and collaborative, empathetic dispositions required to complete this working prototype under tight timelines.

What’s Next Develop the GIS application further so users can contribute by adding content.

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