Inspiration

Well, we were simply thinking of ways that we could make an app regarding “Food Security.” Eventually, we realized that our project either had to find some way to reduce food waste or give information that would convince users to reduce food waste (such as statistics). We settled for the former idea, and came up with an app that targeted restaurant owners, as a lot of food is thrown out because they are past their sell date, but not past their due date, as they are still perfectly good to eat but end up being thrown out anyways.

What it does

Our app does two things: It allows store/restaurant owners to post their “expired” food to our website, and it allows customers to buy that food, effectively linking these two parties together. If you are a customer, who we would assume is in the demographic of budget families looking for food/ingredients, healthcare centers, or orphanage places, you can enter your zip code and our map shows you stores within that ZIP code and nearby zip codes. If you are a store, you can list your items to our website, and when sold, your item will be under “Items Sold.” The address will be given to the customer, and they can come pick up the food, and the transaction will be done in cash.

How we built it

We used the Python API called Flask for both our web server and database (SQL-Alchemy in Flask built in database API). We used the basics (HTML, Javascript, CSS) for the web pages themselves. We used an external Google API for our map. We did all of our work on Repl.it. Images were given by Google.

Challenges we ran into

Most of the challenges were within Flask. It was not really hard to render the HTML nor get the CSS/Javascript to work. As an example, we spent a long time once on getting a form post to work as the data was not compatible. Turns out it was a type error that we miscoded in our forms file, and that took some time to change. Also, it took some time for my partner to figure out the Google API and how to merge it with our server.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Mostly I am proud of the fact that we managed to code this in roughly one and a half days, and that I learned so much.

What we learned

Me, in terms of using Flask and coding websites, am a lot more inexperienced than my partner. I learned how to code routes better, learned and got more efficient at writing Flask databases and forms, as well as learned how to write css/html code more efficiently. Besides all that technical stuff, I think the best thing I got from this experience is that I learned how to manage my time better under time-constrained situations (e.g. knowing what to code and what can be glossed over) to get what’s most important out.

What's next for Theta Food Security

The next step is getting this product out there to actually make an impact on society. We would also like to improve on some parts of the user interface.

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