Featured Project: Ample

We wanted to make the inventories of food banks more accessible to everyone so that they could look up what resources the food banks near them have as well as what they need so that people can donate the needed items.

Problem Statement

Roughly 1.4 million New York City residents rely on emergency food programs each year. Additionally, 60% of EFP members claimed food support programs, such as SNAP, as their primary source of product. Even though programs such as SNAP exist, many members have reported that they receive insufficient resources from the program that do not last through the month due to the fact that SNAP itself is lacking resources to provide.

Solution and Scope –

The solution we came up with was to create a website and mobile application! The website is aimed towards food banks to maintain their inventories therefore, providing people, both in need of food and interested in donating, the most accurate information. The mobile application is aimed towards people looking for food and for people interested in helping food banks by donating food.

Technical Specification & High Level Design

For the mobile application, we are using React Native. The reason we chose to use React Native for our app was because React Native allows us to create an app for both Android and iOS all in javascript. For the website, we used a combination of HTML, CSS, and javascript. For our backend, we are using Firebase. We chose Firebase because it is easy to use for beginners, it has many different features that could be useful for our project, and it integrates nicely with both React and React Native. Additionally, we will be storing the inventory for all of the food banks in a database that can be accessed by both the website and the mobile app. Firebase provides 2 different databases: their Realtime database and Cloud Firestore.

Challenges We Faced & What We Learned

One of our biggest challenges was trying to find a time to meet up as a team. This was difficult for us because we lived in different time zones. We had people in the EST, PST, and IST time zones, so it was hard to find a time when everyone could meet. A lot of the time, this required someone staying up very late or someone waking up very early.

Future Work

In the future, we want to expand our location so our project can access many more food banks and users around the country! As of now, we only focus on New York, but we want to expand to many more locations around the country. We also want to add direct financial donations through the app.