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A food pantry locator to provide information on the nearest available pantries for the food-insecure
In 2017, 15 million (11.8%) of US households reported being food insecure, meaning that there were times when they wondered where their next meal would come from. Alongside their other coping strategies, these families often relied on community food pantries for emergency food.
Since 1981, the Westside Food Bank has been serving LA by collecting food via donations and bulk purchases. Once they aggregate enough food, they deliver it to local food pantries for distribution.
Once food is delivered to food pantries, it can still be difficult for people to access. Food pantries are often sparsely located and open for only a few hours per week. Sometimes, they don’t even serve the zipcode they’re in! A need arises for a convenient tool to aid in finding the right food pantry. The display must be easy to update in case information changes as well to ensure that those who rely on food pantries aren't blindsided and unable to get what they need.
If a family were looking for a nearby food pantry, they could start by looking at our interactive map. By entering their zip code, they can filter out food pantries that don’t serve them.
Once they click a pantry, the map will automatically zoom to its location. Our app then provides the pantry's address, contact information, and Google Maps directions to the desired pantry.
We also created a mobile version of the app so that our tool can be conveniently accessed even by those without access to a laptop or tablet.
For staff at WSFB, adding food pantries to the map is simple--add a row to Google Sheets, and the map will instantly update.