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Analysis of a Food Bank Home Delivery Program

Analysis of a Food Bank Home Delivery Program
Analysis of a Food Bank Home Delivery Program
Project Dates: March - June 2022
Partner(s): University District Food Bank (UDFB), Cascade Bicycle Club, Pedaling Relief Project
Project Summary:

In response to an increased need for food assistance during the pandemic, UDFB expanded its home delivery service, and, in partnership with the Cascade Bicycle Club’s Pedaling Relief Project, shifted some of its delivery away from private vehicles toward bike transport. Anne Goodchild and Giacomo Dalla Chiara’s Civil & Environmental Engineering CET 587 course: Transportation and Logistics class undertook a case study to analyze PRP’s transport and logistics system and provide recommendations for operational improvements.

Students worked to streamline the process of designing delivery routes to minimize the total distance traveled — which normally takes volunteers hours to do, manually without automation tools. For his project, doctoral student Dan McCabe developed an app that automates the route design process. The app groups deliveries together based on a variety of criteria, such as carrying capacity, time of day, and correlation with bike lanes, and, using the Open Source Routing Machine project, designs optimal routes, and then provides users with QR codes to direct riders to the routes on Google Maps. The app was first tested during a citywide volunteer One Seattle Day of Service in May.

Since its founding in May 2020, the program has delivered more than 169 tons of food, rescued more than 113,122 pounds of food from local grocery stores, biked more than 15,752 miles, and reduced carbon emissions by more than 8.6 tons.