CONTACT: Matt Cardoza, GaDOE Communications Office, (404) 651-7358, firstname.lastname@example.org
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December 7, 2015 – Teachers, parents, and students should be aware that there is a Georgia-developed resource available to connect food-insecure children – and adults trying to help – with food resources.
Food Finder GA, a web app developed by Peachtree Ridge High School graduate Jack Griffin, uses geo-targeting to direct users to the free food resource closest to their home, school, or current location. It was built initially for Gwinnett County students, but expanded in the fall of 2015 to serve all food-insecure students in the state of Georgia, through a network of more than 1,000 resource providers.
“We can’t expect our students to be focused and prepared academically when they’re worried about where their next meal is coming from,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said. “Projects like Food Finder GA streamline and simplify the process of finding food resources for students who are food-insecure – and the adults trying to provide assistance to those students. This is an instance of a Georgia graduate using his skills in technology and his entrepreneurial instincts to find solutions to the problems facing our kids, and nothing could make me more proud.”
Griffin said the inspiration for the project came as he was looking for an opportunity to volunteer in his community.
“I focused on hunger specifically because it seemed like the most pressing and fundamental need that had to be addressed for impoverished children,” he said. “However, I discovered that the search process was much more difficult than I thought. I was just looking to help out somewhere, but the kids who actually need the aid should be able to access this information much more quickly; the idea to collect and easily display these food resources in an online aggregator came from this initial experience.”
Amber Stallings, a teacher at Peachtree Ridge High School, said the Food Finder app helps her connect students with area food banks.
“All students come to school every day to learn, but many students across Georgia and the nation also come to school for a chance to eat breakfast and lunch,” Stallings said. “School meals do provide a crucial safety net for food-insecure students, but after the bell rings, many kids go home hungry. With Food Finder, I can inform students about the available food banks in the area. The resource helps teachers and counselors assist students in finding food resources even after the school day ends.”
To access the Food Finder GA app, click here. Connect with Food Finder GA on Facebook here and Twitter here. To learn more about Griffin, the Georgia graduate who launched the project, click here.