Inspiration

The growing population and the increasing competitive need for sustainability led us to think about the global food crisis. Food is an everyday necessity, and everyone should have access to it, but it being inaccessible raises a lot of problems. Thus, it was important to think about an innovative and technological solution to the challenges facing food insecurity. The application would act like a more innovative way to recover surplus food for consumption rather than discarding the food.

What It Does?

This app is sufficient enough to recreate a mini-ecosystem between the givers and takers. Givers being restaurants, dining halls from campuses, while on the other hand takers could be shelter homes, university students or even non-profits. A list of all the available givers is showcased on the profile, making it easy to use for the takers to satisfy their needs. There has always been an unsaid need of help required for the latter party, but never a medium of communication to ensure the resources are utilized and never wasted. The app would suffice the needs of the takers while minimizing food waste.

How did we Built it?

We have built a Progressive Web App (PWA) that is fast, reliable and engaging. We used HTML5, CSS, JavaScript and TomTom Map's API. Most of the processors' page is built on PHP. We have used the MySQL database on the Google Cloud Platform (GCP).

Challenges we Ran into

One of our biggest challenges was the implementation of the Maps API. It was a dilemma between using Google Places and Directions API versus using TomTom API. Google API is easy to start with, following an easy set of instructions, but eventually, it comes down to displaying the output as JSON file, which is difficult to verify with map pointers for the desired destinations on the map. However, with TomTom API it was easy to register and get hold of an API key (the downside is the limited number of API requests it can make in a day). TomTom proved to be a better choice, because of its documentation and ease of use.

Accomplishments that we are Proud of

We as a team, are really proud of all the information we have learned through the process of research and facing dilemmas. Global Food Crisis is not a topic that is discussed enough, and food being a necessity should be available for all. For such a short span, coming up with an idea, talking about its specifics and developing the application as a team is something we will definitely take from here. Something even better than gaining all this knowledge is knowing the fact, we were able to create something such impactful with such potential.

What we Learned?

We learned to be self-aware of not just us, but also the surroundings around us. When did the food crisis get much worse and yet untalked? Since when is it difficult to afford a necessity? Some of these questions are worth brainstorming for and an eye-opener for a sustainable world ahead of us. Furthermore, we learned to work as a team and most importantly not feel too burdened about the short span of time. All it takes is a sustainable approach and a brilliant idea, but easier said than done.

What's Next for ShareCrumbs?

For the recent future, the application definitely has the potential to be spread more than just Southern California. This growth is much needed and it needs to get out there and save all the souls who crave having a single square meal a day. On a technical note, an option would be to list all the most frequently listed items by a giver, so it becomes easier for a giver to feed in the details. A recommended food menu with suggested items could be achieved with Machine learning tools and to get more volunteers and nonprofits to sign up and share the word around.

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