Smart Food Rescue Inventory Management wins Rep. Albio Sires’s 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Eighth District

Rep. Albio Sires has named Ashton Tang from McNair Academy High School as the winner of the 2021 Congressional App Challenge in New Jersey’s Eighth District.


When asked what inspired the creation of Smart Food Rescue Inventory Management, the student said, “COVID 19 has disrupted our life for the past year and a half. As a result of the outbreak, many were left jobless and hungry. For a long time, I searched for ways to help the community until I came across an opportunity on Jersey City’s website last year to help distribute food from local restaurants to homeless shelters. While searching for ways to help the community, I came across an opportunity on Jersey City‚Äôs website last year to help distribute food from local restaurants to homeless shelters. The first time I went to a shelter, I was floored by the scene: a long line outside the door, a crowded hallway, and a ground littered with masks and trash. The atmosphere was gloomy and depressing, with the residents looking worn out and employees overworked. Being able to witness that up close and personal inspired me to take action.

During my volunteer trips, I noticed the number of people who could be accommodated and fed was limited, and food donations came in various amounts. There was no way for me to estimate the amount of food until I got to the restaurant or bakery. A few times I saw a lot of food was left on the kitchen floor, and the shelter’s management told me they didn’t want any more food that day. Other times, restaurants only had enough food for two or three meals.

I was determined to find a more efficient way to distribute the food donation to those in need and make sure the shelters have the right amount of food. For this reason, I created a web application that lets food kitchens track the inventory, and food donors notify their food donation before the delivery. This way, we can dispatch food to the most in need food shelters depending on their food inventory.

It gives me great satisfaction to know that my food delivery efforts have made a difference in our neighborhood. With this app, I hope to further improve the food donation delivery experience to further reduce food waste.”

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.