Food Pickup Routes: Georgia Tech to the Rescue!
Based in Atlanta, Second Helpings Atlanta (SHA) is fortunate to have access to some of the most talented technical people on the planet – Georgia Tech students! Over the past couple of months, we tapped into the brainpower of 5 undergraduate students with expertise in Logistics and Industrial Engineering to help us optimize the planning of our food pickup routes.
Since SHA is growing by leaps and bounds, it has been challenging to keep up with the increasingly complicated coordination of Food Donors, Volunteers, Partner Agencies, routes, and the many logistics surrounding the efficiency of our operations. Using information gathered from the Second Helpings Atlanta database in SalesForce, the students examined our system for assigning routes and ran several simulations. Over the course of one semester, they developed a tool that makes route planning more efficient, ensures the best use of our Volunteers and shortens food delivery drive times.
Volunteer Coordinator Laura Labovitz will use this software tool to streamline the way we assign plan food pickup and delivery routes going forward. We are excited about the many ways this will help us to continue our rapid expansion. We are also hopeful that this collaboration opens doors for more Georgia Tech projects in the future.
We are grateful to the Georgia Institute of Technology and our Georgia Tech Senior Planning Project team: Bowei Oki (team leader), Marcus Allen, Victoria Bogden, Kristiaan Sheedy, and Matthew Sheffield. Faculty advisor Pinar Keskinocak, a tenured professor and the Co-Director of the Center for Health and Humanitarian Systems, oversaw the project. This route optimization project will ensure that all of us at SHA are as busy as yellowjackets – Driving Out Hunger a Mile at a Time in metro Atlanta!