Every year, 35.5 million tonnes of food produced in Canada is lost or wasted creating 56.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions! 32% of this amount could be rescued to support communities in Canada! Knowing this, we got determined to act.
We started with the roots of the problem: lack of commitment and variety of food. We realized that the only moment the school asked us to donate food was right before Christmas break, and it was mostly canned food. However, food banks need to provide food for all year long, so we've decided to create a project to help both food banks and donators.
Restaurants, Grocery stores, and even individual people throw non-expired food everyday. We would like to link them with the food banks, so even fresh foods could be given to recipients.
What it does
Westerra is an app that allows food banks to manage their inventory and access other food banks’ inventory as well through an interactive map. Eventually, donors restaurants and grocery stores would have access to them as well.
-Supports the community -Reduces food waste -Reduces methane gas emissions (25 times more damaging to the environment than carbon dioxide) -Reduces water waste -Reduces biodiversity harm -Reduces oil waste -Reduces land waste
How we built it
We built the app using Android Studio. The app was coded in Java and designed in XML. For the database we used SQLite.
For the UX and UI design, we used Adobe XD.
Challenges we ran into
The challenges mainly stemmed from the fact that we had no knowledge on SQL, Java and Android Studio prior to Marihacks. We had to have enough time to learn and complete our project, which seemed very overwhelming. Therefore, time management was a big issue, as well as deciding on what features we should let go to be able to present a functional project at the end.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We are very proud of having been able to create a functioning project with little to no knowledge on the tools we used at the beginning. We were able to collaborate to build something from scratch to help our community.
What we learned
We learned a lot in this hackathon. In fact, we had never used Adobe XD, Android Studio, Java and SQL. This project allowed us to push ourselves beyond our limits and to learn languages by ourselves.
What's next for Wasterra
We lacked the time to finish a login/signup system and to create an interactive map, so this is our priority.
We intend to expand the app to make it available not only for food banks, but also for users. For this we will need to create a server to sync all the food banks’ inventories and make them accessible to other users, like donors, restaurants and grocery stores. We also intend on creating a chatting system to allow food banks to easily communicate with restaurants and grocery stores for partnerships.
As a source of revenue, we intend on making food banks pay a one-time fee to access the app, whereas users would be shown ads with the possibility of paying to get an ad-free experience.