We were inspired by HackGT giving away excess food! It made us wonder whether other orgs donate food and if so what the process was. We found there were many inefficiencies and hoped to address them with our solution. We wanted to tackle food security and sustainability at the same time and this was the perfect idea to allow us to make a real social impact to benefit those in need while also making ourselves more sustainable.
Most current solutions are focused on creating partnerships between large franchise restaurants and food banks. This isn't enough to address the sustainability or food security problem though. The quantity of food donated through partnerships like these are relatively low due to the large number of restrictions food banks must adhere to when it comes to accepting food. But food banks aren't the only organizations looking to receive food. There are many small non-profits and community led organizations that collect food give back to the community itself. These organizations are not subject to heavy restrictions and can work with restaurants easily to collect excess food. The Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation act protects excess food generators from any liability when it comes to donating food as long as the food donated is FDA approved. So essentially restaurants can donate to large food banks, small organizations, or even individuals directly. Our application allows individuals and organizations at all levels to work together to offer their most valuable product - "Community Service and Altruism"
What it does
Sustainabite is an online marketplace where food donors and receivers and easily connect. Donors can catalog and manage their inventory as well as manage their orders while Receivers can place orders. The catalog can be personalized and edited by each donor. Similarly Donors can see incoming orders and have the ability to approve or deny it. Once approved both parties will have each other's contact information. Receivers can add notes to their order in case of any special needs or circumstances. Donors will get Bitecoins for their confirmed orders. These bitcoins are marketable so that organizations can share their service activities and can also see their ranking compared to other giving organizations on the Sustainabite leaderboard. Our application changes excess food generators into donors by connecting them with individuals and organizations at all levels while using gamification for good!
How we built it
Challenges we ran into
We had to work really hard to design a solution and process that tackles the issues of sustainability and food insecurity without crossing any legal boundaries. On the technical side we were all new to UI/UX design so it took a long time to get used to Figma. It also took a really long tine to connect to the NCR API and understand how to effectively use it. Thankfully we had the best mentors and received so much help every time we got stuck on a problem.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are really proud of our idea as well as UI design. We spent a lot of time analyzing the most effective workflow for both user types. It was really important to us that users didn't need a lot of familiarity or any training to be able to pick up the application and start using. We wanted the application to feel refined and smooth and we believe we really achieved our goal of accessibility by simplifying the design while making it aesthetically pleasing.
What we learned
We were all new to UI/UX design so it took a long time to get used to Figma. We got really good and wireframing and designing a workflow for users through out this Hackathon. I am really proud of how we were able to use components effectively to make prototyping much easier.
What's next for Sustainabite
We have a big goal and so there are multiple next steps. Currently it is connected to the NCR API and uses it as a pseudo database. We would like to continue using the NCR API but also connect it to a proper backend. Another big idea is to make BiteCoins into real cryptocurrency. We believe this would create an informal submarket that could really drive up altruism. BiteCoin would have marketable value and could also potentially be used as a concrete measure of community service by organizations that can then be rewarded by government agencies or other non-profits. A more immediate next step is creating a mobile application to expand the accessibility of the project.