How do we deal with food insecurity in Florida?
One bite at a time!
Byte To Bites was created out of the gray skies of Hurricane Irma when it became a challenge for many food banks and their agencies to connect with clients in desperate need of food. People who were displaced from their homes or evacuated to unfamiliar areas had serious problems obtaining food to survive. What did we lack in linking people with food? Information. Simple, basic information about where they were and what they needed.
Byte to Bites is not a typo – the name represents the use of data communication between those who are searching for food and those who are working to distribute it. This new communication tool is designed to be the needed link between these two groups.
This app works as the bridge which will help us learn more about those in need. Hundreds of studies have been done on reams of census data and historical food distribution patterns, but nothing comes close to real time data from real people. Non-profits have limited resources and every bit of real data we can get will help to educate us on:
- Identification on where food gaps truly exist.
- Where we can place new food pantries in the most efficient manner
- How to get food out to people in a disaster situation
- Projecting where hidden food issues may be occurring
In blue skies, Byte To Bites can be used by anyone to identify the closest pantry, soup kitchen or SNAP location to their current location. In the gray skies of a hurricane or other disaster, it can be a life saver when access to food is a real issue.
Download it and let us know how it is working for you. We are working every day to improve the accuracy of the data and our ability to get food where it is needed most. Available now on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store!
Every time you use the app, it helps us to plan better and make that critical connection between people and food.
The app works by first asking if it can access the device’s current location. This is obviously required so that we can find the food distribution points closest to the user. If this is denied, the app will not function properly.
Next, you are asked to provide some basic information about yourself. While it is hoped that you are interested in helping us by entering this data, it is important that users know that all of the items in this section are totally optional. Please keep in mind that the sole purpose of collecting this data is to help us get more food to more people as efficiently as we can. The app will continue to function as designed without this optional data. This is because our primary goal is to help users find food NOW. Our secondary mission is to project needs for the future by analyzing this data.
After entering the data, tapping the bottom of the screen will take you to the map section. By selecting SNAP, Soup Kitchen or Pantries, the map will display each of those locations nearest to the user. The scope of the search may be expanded by changing the radius at the bottom of the screen. Touch a pin to get the details on each site. It’s that simple. We have achieved our goal of helping the user to find a food source that meets their needs.
The Byte to Bites app collects data on device/user location in order to provide the user with food location data. This is not an optional feature of the app – it is required in order to function properly. For total transparency and for users to feel comfortable with using the app, we want users to know that:
- This location data is being gathered for analysis only. No SDKs, no tracking, nothing like that of any kind. We can only see your location when you access the maps. This is so we can find the most efficient way to get food to you.
- This location data is never sold, transferred or viewed by any parties outside of our food distribution analysis team. No outside companies or organizations will have access to any of this information. The location data is the foundation of the app and helps us in statewide planning of supplemental/emergency food distribution in both blue sky and gray sky conditions.
The supplemental data requested in the app is completely optional and is used to help us validate prior census analysis work on food deserts and food gaps across the state. As stated above on location information, this data will never be sold, transferred or viewed by any parties outside of our food distribution analysis team. We encourage users to share only the information they feel comfortable sharing.
We will not:
- Use any information to tailor content appearing on your device.
- Collect any cookie data or pixel tags.
- Collect any device specific information.
- Store any information on your device.
- Provide any information to any publishers, advertisers, websites or apps.
- Engage in any data sharing of any kind with any outside organization.
If there are any questions about the data being collected, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Windermere, Florida 34786, United States