SNAPMapper, our mobile "Yelp for food stamp users" app, took third (out of 24) at the Alameda County hackathon last weekend. There was a fantastic amount of creativity and great ideas, all geared towards improving services and access to services for the residents of this huge urban and suburban area.
Currently, people on the state CalFresh and Federal SNAP food assistance programs can find only the location of stores that accept this payment service; the data says nothing about quality, service, availability of fresh food, etc. (that is, the nearest three places may be liquor stores and gas stations). SNAPMapper allows users to locate, rate, and give other feedback about these stores, helping all users learn where they can find healthy, fresh, and inexpensive food for their families. We also hope that this would provide incentive for stores to stock healthier food.
(Our research confirms that a majority of the population in question has access to a smart phone; these phones may, in fact, be their only source of internet access.)
Our data can easily be scraped for the county to match against its own demographic data about CalFresh and SNAP users, to track the efficiency and availability of services.
Since the data we used is nationwide, SNAPMapper could easily be adopted by every county across the United States.
We look forward to working with the county to make SNAPMapper a fully functional web and native app.