Through the surprisingly arduous task of trying to find free food resources in Gwinnett County – home to 10% of all the public school kids in Georgia – I had the idea to create a geo-located app that would automatically locate both the user and the closest free food resources near them, such as food banks, soup kitchens, and co- ops. A tool that can tell those kids where to receive food for no cost based only their current location, or their school’s name, or any address they entered.
The website development work began in January 2014 under the direction of Dennis Nelson, our Project Manager. To pay for the coding, I used crowd funding with an Indiegogo.com campaign. I raised $5,970 from 78 contributors in 2 countries in one month.
www.foodfinderga.org went live on May 6, 2014, and has been visited by thousands of people in Gwinnett County and beyond. The site provides total privacy to the user and it’s use is growing among Gwinnett County Public School teachers, counselors, and students. In May 2015, the site expanded to serve the entire state of Georgia – over 1.7 million kids in over 2,300 public schools through over 1,700 resource providers.
My goal remains the same: to make food insecure kids’ meal times just a little less grueling, by letting them know there is free food, close by, right now, so that they don’t have to worry about their next meal every day.
– Jack Griffin, Founder, Food Finder