Westside Food Bank

A food pantry locator to provide information on the nearest available pantries for the food-insecure

Technology

React.js, Mapbox, Google Sheets, Digital Ocean

NPOs involved

Westside Food Bank

Team

Max Wu, Kevin Zhang, Jessica Lam, Stephanie Doan

Background

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.

Problem

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.

Solution

We set out with WSFB to solve this problem by working together on a food pantry locator for their website. The locator is powered by Google Sheets, making it simple to update in real time.

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.

Simply type in your zip code and get directions to the nearest food pantry that serves you!
Simply type in your zip code and get directions to the nearest food pantry that serves you!

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.

The mobile version of the app makes sure that the app can be accessed at any time.
The mobile version of the app makes sure that the app can be accessed at any time.

↑ Back to Top
© 2021 Nova for Good

Last updated August 15th, 2021

General

Projects
Our Team

For Students

Join the Team

For Nonprofits

Work with Us