Trenton Food Finder

  • #code,
  • #design,
  • #ux

Trenton Food Finder is a web application that aims to help Trenton residents find free food resources by providing an easily-accessible online directory of food distribution sites in their area. Developed as a final project for COS 333, Advanced Programming Techniques, this application was created by three sophomore students — Roosevelt Scaggs, Amir Touil, and myself — in response to a request made by a local nonprofit organization. This organization, the Trenton Health Team, was our client and collaborator for the project, which we designed to suit their particular needs as a community health care collaborative.

The directory features advanced search functionality on food resource name and multiple filter types, and allows users to view the directory of food resources in multiple forms: as a scrollable list of data entries, as markers on an interactive map, as a printable table, and as entries on a synced Google calendar. In addition, the application provides a comprehensive interface for the administration of the directory, including site archival, bulk editing, complex calendar recurrence scheduling, basic usage analytics data collection and export, and the ability to create and manage accounts for third party administrators that grant selective edit privileges on a site-by-site basis.

Deployed with Heroku, Trenton Food Finder is a three-tier web application. Our core server is built using Python’s Flask microframework, and serves pages constructed with the Jinja2 templating engine and JSON data objects from our database. Since our frontend application is implemented according to AJAX principles, we designed our backend API to conform to the REST architecture specifications and facilitate this client-side rendering. We chose MySQL as the database management system for this project, and utilized SQLAlchemy as our object-relational mapper in Python. Finally, the frontend component of the application is built using jQuery, and Bootstrap is used for UI styling.



Liam Esparraguera is an engineer, designer, and technologist passionate about building interactive software that sparks joy and inspires human expression. He is currently studying Computer Science, Music, and HCI at Princeton University. Right now, he is helping build Warp, a modern terminal designed for teams. Previously, he has worked on engineering at MongoDB and served as founding engineer at a healthtech startup.