Visionist Supports Families in Need by Building “Grab and Go HoCo”

Visionists have stepped up to support our community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team volunteered their time to create a web application that helps get meals to families in need in Howard County, Maryland.

Visionist engineer Joe Shaw discovered families were not taking advantage of the free meals being provided by Howard County Schools because they lack reliable transportation. School volunteers created a sign-up sheet with Google Forms to manually pair families-in-need with volunteers who would then deliver the food. The spreadsheet solution did not scale, so Joe brainstormed a more robust solution to streamline the sign-up and delivery process.

In less than a week, a group of Visionists built and deployed Grab and Go HoCo, an app that presents delivery volunteers a map of locations where families need meals. Volunteers can then select homes they are able to serve. Behind the scenes, a powerful administrative interface gives coordinators the ability to generate reports required by the county.

In the first week, the site coordinated existing delivery routes for 30 families and paired up 18 new families with volunteers. It also helped recruit 32 additional volunteers to make deliveries. We’re proud of Joe and our developers for putting their efforts towards helping the community, and we’re confident that all of us can weather COVID-19 together.  Stay strong!