FIND ‘FOOD NEAR ME’ WITH THE CLICK OF A BUTTON
Author: Patty Kieburtz
Second Harvest debuted its new ‘Food Near Me’ map in April 2022, with the aim of providing a user-friendly system of finding food assistance in Eastern Washington and North Idaho.
The new map took nearly a year to develop, as it is more detailed than its predecessor and requires more complex computer code.
The previous map had included food sites which served specific populations; the new map ensures all sites listed are representative of public food service hours.
The Food Finder is modeled after Oregon Food Bank’s interactive map. Cast Iron Coding, the company behind the original map, also coded Second Harvest’s.
Allie Moore, a program director at Second Harvest, was integral in the map’s development.
It was developed in stages, she explained. The first steps were taken last summer, as the Second Harvest Agency Relations Team compiled data in collaboration with the partner food pantries in Second Harvest’s service area. This was a large task, because food service hours and business hours vary within each of the nearly 200 organizations.
Curation of the list continued throughout the fall and winter months of 2021. Once the data was compiled, checked thoroughly and approved by neighboring food pantries, collaboration between Second Harvest and Cast Iron Coding led to the map’s launch in early spring.
Although the map is up and running, Moore will continue to perform upkeep on the data, ensuring that individuals can easily use the map for the most up-to-date information on where to find food.
“There are enough barriers to getting food,” she said. “I just want it to be as smooth a process as possible.”
Those using the map can filter it by two food types: groceries and meals. Users can then refine by location and date of pickup, or simply type in an address, city or zip code.
To visit a location, press the “directions” button, and Google Maps will create a route from your chosen starting location.
Because hours and availability are subject to change, we recommend calling meal sites prior to visiting.
How to use:
- Visit the map here
- Type in your address, city or zip code to view options in your area
- Filter by food type under “I’m looking for”
- Filter by pickup day and time
- Press “Search” and explore your food options