Food Data Jam


food data jam 2014 - final candidate - rgb- 500px verGet on the bus and discover a side of the DC region you never knew at the Food Data Jam! What is a Food Data Jam? It’s a hackathon that will generate solutions to local food and farm challenges. Developers, students and non-profits will work together for 24 hours on three specific tasks. The team with the best solution gets $1,000! Second place gets $500! This event, organized as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking, will be held in Poolesville, the heart of the Agricultural Reserve in Montgomery County. Located just 30 minutes from the White House, the Agricultural Reserve provides 93,000 acres of specially zoned farm and open space, is home to 560 farms, employs 10,000 residents and generates $245M annually. As a participant in this event you’ll work on a team addressing one of three challenges related to food and agriculture:

  • Food Recovery: The County estimates that 19% of our local waste stream is food waste, which includes 28,769 tons from restaurants, 14,014 tons from supermarkets, and 5,301 tons from schools.  Participants in this challenge will build solutions that link supply (those with excess perishable food) to demand (shelters, food pantries, etc.).
  • Farming and Agriculture:  You will be given access to a wealth of data from the Montgomery County Agriculture Services division and USDA. Your ideas will help our small and mid-sized farmers meet the growing demand for locally grown products, and will increase customers’ access to healthful food.
  • School Food and Nutrition: Using real and sample data from the Montgomery County Public Schools Food and Nutrition Services Division, explore what applications can help educate parents and students about options for healthy eating and increase access and options to healthy food for students.

What does it mean to participate? As a participant of the Food Data Jam you’ll join or form a team to work on the challenge of your choice. You’ll brainstorm a solution and then build it! What you build can be as elaborate or advanced as your skills allow. You can build a functioning prototype or just mock-up a concept. You’ll have about 24 hours to do it with plenty of stimulating talks and breaks along the way with subject matter experts. On the second day your team will present your ideas and solutions to a panel of judges. Who can participate? Everyone is welcome, whether you are a food system expert, an experienced developer, or a student. We are especially looking for participants with solid technical skills. We will be asking you to build something, so be ready for a marathon! Never been out to Poolesville? Don’t have a car? No problem! Get on the bus! Poolesville is a short ride from DC and we’ve made special arrangements to bus coders, developers and techies from Bethesda to the Food Data Jam. For our technical particpants we’ll even stop along the way to give you a tour of a working farm. Our general and student participants should join us for lunch at Poolesville High School at Noon! How much does this cost? What else do I need to know? It’s free! Registered participants will get free meals courtesy of our sponsors. Just bring your laptop and get ready to roll up your sleeves. You’ll be able to stay in Poolesville High School overnight as your team works through the night. Please click on the registration page to see the full agenda! About National Day of Civic Hacking On May 31 and June 1, 2014, we’ll be making history all over again. For the second time, the National Day of Civic Hacking will unite technologists, entrepreneurs, developers and other citizens in using open data to improve communities and the governments that serve them. Want to get involved? Contact one of your local organizers (listed below) to find out how.