Alabama Food Deserts Project wins Rep. Gary Palmer’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Alabama’s Sixth District

Rep. Gary Palmer has named Ryan Nguyen from Hoover High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in Alabama’s Sixth District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Alabama Food Deserts Project, the student said, “What inspired me was seeing the long lines at food banks around the country, especially in Alabama, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and inadequate social services provided by the government. I knew that I couldn’t solve it alone, and I knew that this issue is bigger than us, so I created the Alabama Food Deserts Project to be a part of the wider goal of elevating the massive suffering imposed by conditions outside the control of those affected. By creating this website/app, I am hopeful that we are one step closer to bridging the gap between those with inadequate nutrition during these devastating times.”

The 2021 Congressional App Challenge yielded 2,101 fully functioning apps. After eighteen months of disruptions to educational cadences for students everywhere, the Congressional App Challenge came roaring back with 7,174 students registering for this year’s competition. All told, 340 Members of Congress hosted Congressional App Challenges in their districts across 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C.

The Congressional App Challenge is an official initiative of the U.S. House of Representatives, where Members of Congress host contests in their districts for middle school and high school students, encouraging them to learn to code and inspiring them to pursue careers in computer science. Each participating Member of Congress selects a winning app from their district, and each winning team is invited to showcase their winning app to Congress during our annual #HouseOfCode festival. The program is a public-private partnership made possible through funding from Omidyar Network, AWS, theCoderSchool, Facebook, Replit, Accenture, and others.

The 2022 Congressional App Challenge will launch in June of 2022, and eligible students can pre-register for the competition now.