GNFC releases COVID-19 food resource via app
NASHUA – The Greater Nashua Food Council – in partnership with Rivier University, the Nashua Public Health Department, Southern New Hampshire Medical Center and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care – launched new features to its existing app, increasing accessibility to COVID-19 food resources.
According to the website, the app was developed for, “The Greater Nashua Community to locate food pantries, community dinners, farmers markets, CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) … nutrition education … and also contains information on how to access food resources during COVID-19 quarantine.”
“The original premise was to provide a food resource directory that people could easily access,” said Jessica Gorhan, the app’s co-developer and executive director of Gorhan Public Health Consulting. “From there, we decided to add events, volunteer opportunities and nutrition education. COVID-19 is an opportunity for us to utilize the app and help the most people in need of food resources.”
The app is simple to use and navigate, she said. There are four interactive buttons on the launch screen titled, “Food Resources, Events, Volunteer Opportunities and Budget/ Nutrition Education.”
“The Food Resource Directory is the main feature we hope clients utilize,” Gorhan said.
Under the “Food Resources” category are four additional interactive tabs that are linked to the GNFC’S website, locations where free food is available and logistical information such as how many times an individual may visit a pantry or distribution center per week. There also is a guide to what locations accept SNAP and EBT.
Gorhan said the app has the ability to use crowdsourcing, thus, if an update is needed in regards to resources, an inquiry can be sent by clicking a button at the bottom of each listing.
When an update is needed, either Gorhan or a member from a team of college students from Rivier University working in collaboration may, “Go in and make the update in just a few minutes.”
“The Volunteer button allows people to give back to the community through community gardening, distributing fresh produce to socially vulnerable communities and through other community organizations.” Gorhan said.
There are interactions available under the “Food Resource” tab that are advantageous for when the world opens back up again, but aren’t particularly helpful during this current time, like a widget that uses your location to reveal restaurants near you, or the ‘Market Match’ tab that has the same function but with farmers markets.
“The ‘Volunteer’ button allows people to give back to the community through community gardening, distributing fresh produce to socially vulnerable communities and through other community organizations,” Gorhan said.
“This app is a wonderful example of how working together makes things happen,” Gorhan added, “This was a brainstorm two-and-a-half years ago, and is now available when people need these resources the most. Nashua has an amazing network of community members, leaders and organizations who see the power in teamwork!”
The app is available for both Android and iPhone for free in their respective virtual stores, by searching for Greater Nashua Food Council. Fore more information, visit the GNFC’S website at https://greaternashuafoodcouncil.org.
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