The Technology Association of Georgia in partnership with Code for Atlanta hosted the Atlanta National Day of Civic Hacking event on May 31st. The event was one of over 100 events that took place during May 30th – June 1st throughout the U.S. as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. The Atlanta event brought together software developers, computer scientists, entrepreneurs, citizens, and Atlanta Community Food Bank (ACFB) staff.
Nearly 90 attendees showed up over the two-day event, forming 13 competitive teams. The Hackathon projects revolved around food security and sustainability issues, with a focus on technical needs of the host, ACFB.
The ACFB presented 13 challenges to the civic hackers, these challenges include:
- Agency website portal
- Agency mobile SMS application
- A efficient tool to determine ripe fruit
- Database improvements to ACFB online ordering portal
- A thorough user-experience review of ACFB’s website
- A portal for member agencies to communicate with each other
- A truck-loading planning tool
- A new online ordering portal for agencies to place orders with the ACFB
- A mapping project of urban farms around metro Atlanta
- A tool to incentivize the purchase of local produce using SNAP benefits
- An API for the ACFB
- An analysis of food deserts and hunger issues using U.S. Census data
- A tool for agency case management
- Detailed information on all ACFB challenges
The winners of the Atlanta hackaton were:
- First Place: The winner of the Atlanta Hackathon challenge was team Foogle. Foogle, a portal site, hosts websites for over 600 member agencies that the ACFB serves. The user simply inputs a zip code and agencies within their vicinity appear.
- Second Place: Team Food Tree received the second place award for an SMS service that efficiently connects member agencies to the ACFB. This SMS service allows individuals with basic cell phones the ability to place orders for food and coordinate deliveries.
- Third Place: Droopal, a web service that connects to a bend sensor, this helps Concrete Jungle identify apple and pear trees on public land in Atlanta that are ready to be picked. This bend sensor provides daily average readings of tree limb weight until a set threshold is met and identifies which trees have ripe apple or pears.
- Honorable Mention went to SQL Plumbing team that achieved significant database and performance improvements to the ACFB’s online ordering portal.
A word from the Food Bank:
“We were truly honored to be chosen to host the National Day of Civic Hacking in Atlanta. The hackathon event really highlighted for us what can be achieved when you match bright minds and smart technology with a great cause like fighting hunger,” said Richard LeBer, VP of Finance & Strategy at Atlanta Community Food Bank. “We are already beginning to execute on some of the ideas and novel solutions that were generated at the event. The potential for real impact is great, when you consider that we distribute more than 45 million pounds of food a year, through our 600 partner agencies throughout 29 counties, to those in our community that struggle with finding their next meal.”
[Photo Credit: http://www.ohucm.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/IMG_3030.jpg]
[Content Credit: TAG press]