•  July 14, 2020

    Geospatial Innovator Develops Free Route Planning Tool for Bringfood Initiative

    This article was originally published by Applied Geographics Inc. (AppGeo), a company acquired by The Sanborn Map Company Inc in September 2022.

    Boston, MA — AppGeo, a Geospatial IT consulting firm dedicated to providing the best software experiences and most innovative solutions — has announced the launch of a new initiative called Bringfood. Bringfood is designed to help food pantries (and others) respond to the food insecurity and hunger that has been amplified by COVID-19 by providing route planning for home deliveries.

    How the Bringfood initiative came about

    “COVID 19 has brought a certain clarity to the work that we do. We felt compelled to do something purposeful,” said Rich Grady, President of AppGeo. “We decided to focus our expertise in location intelligence and access to technology on a widespread and pressing problem, the hunger and food insecurity created by the pandemic. Bringfood, our new routing and delivery solution, is helping food pantries manage home deliveries, calculating in seconds the multi-vehicle, multi-stop routing plans that could take hours to map out. Our commitment to creating Bringfood has fed a consistent level of energy and enthusiasm within our company to do the right thing.”

    Bringfood supports the rising need for home delivery services

    “With the COVID-19 pandemic in full swing in many areas, food pantries needed a way to prevent people from congregating at food pantries and food distribution points,” said Brian Coolidge, AppGeo Project Manager for the Bringfood initiative. “The alternative of home delivery requires address lists, a lot of drivers, and a lot of challenging route planning. We designed Bringfood to be a simple solution to this challenge, and the speed of the calculation can save hundreds of hours over the course of a year for any given home delivery service”.

    Photos courtesy of ArlingtonEATS.

    “We used to just hand out a group of addresses and hope for the best, but now they [our drivers] are able to have the most efficient route possible. This means less wasted time, less frustration and people get their food quickly!” — Susan Dorson, Program Manager at Arlington EATS (A food pantry in Arlington, Massachusetts).

    Bringfood makes it easy to upload tens to hundreds of addresses from a simple spreadsheet file. The user then makes a few choices such as the number of delivery stops maximum per route (based on vehicle capacity) or the number of routes (based on the number of available drivers that day). With one click, Bringfood calculates a route map and a downloadable ordered list of delivery addresses (stops) for each route (driver).

    Bringfood is powered by Google Maps technology

    Bringfood is built with today’s leading navigation and route planning technologies, including Google Maps and custom algorithms developed by AppGeo. A Premier Google Partner and a Location-Based Services specialist, AppGeo specializes in building custom applications on the Google Maps Platform.

    Bringfood is free for nonprofits and local governments

    “Any nonprofit, particularly a food pantry, that is looking for help with home delivery route planning can start using Bringfood right away for free,” said Priya Sankalia, Project Manager at AppGeo. “So too can local governments. AppGeo does not charge for the use of the application and Google is providing free access to the underlying platform technology. We’ve made it easy to sign up. Go to bringfood.care, click the Apply button, and answer a few questions to let us know who you are. Then we’ll send you login credentials and you can get started solving your home delivery route planning challenges right away.”

    “I went through it with the delivery coordinator today–what takes us hours is now done in under 5 minutes. Unbelievable!” — Erica Satin-Hernandez, Coordinator at Shape Up Somerville (Somerville, Massachusetts).

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