Designing an Algorithm to Allocate Charitable Food Donations to Food Banks and Soup Kitchens

dc.contributor.advisorZytko, Douglas
dc.contributor.authorBenson, Meredith
dc.description.abstractThe coronavirus pandemic has led to a drastic rise in food shortages and subsequent food insecurity, which is burdening food banks and soup kitchens. These charitable organizations now have more people relying on them, and are having a harder time obtaining the food they need. Previous research surrounding the subject has included algorithmic solutions, but each of the resulting algorithms fails to take all of the important considerations into calculation. This paper puts forth an algorithm that centralizes the process of food donation allocation and prioritizes the specific donation requests of food banks and soup kitchens. Interviews were conducted with nonprofit organizations belonging to the charitable food system in order to understand the process of food donation from the perspective of these nonprofits, and the findings were used to inform the algorithm’s decision-making process. The algorithm was first designed in pseudocode, and the pseudocode was then translated into JavaScript for use on a website that provides an interface for donors to submit donations and nonprofit organizations to submit requests. The website uses the algorithm to facilitate the matching of donations to nonprofit organizations. This algorithm unifies the food donation allocation process for a community, maximizes the amount of food donations that are utilized, and assists food banks and soup kitchens in acquiring the donations they need.en_US
dc.subjectAlgorithm designen_US
dc.subjectFood insecurityen_US
dc.subjectFood shortagesen_US
dc.subjectFood donation allocationen_US
dc.titleDesigning an Algorithm to Allocate Charitable Food Donations to Food Banks and Soup Kitchensen_US


Original bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
Thumbnail Image
Benson, Meredith, Thesis.pdf
274.26 KB
Adobe Portable Document Format
License bundle
Now showing 1 - 1 of 1
No Thumbnail Available
3.41 KB
Item-specific license agreed upon to submission