Today’s Solutions: December 01, 2021

If you’re going to an NFL game and want to know where to park or where to find concessions, Agustin Gonzalez’s company Paranoid Fan can find those points of interest in real-time. If you want to stay in your seat and have a hot dog delivered to you, Paranoid Fan can make that happen too. It brings mapping and food delivery to live experiences.

But right now, no one is going to any NFL games or any public events. The COVID-19 pandemic has put an end, for the time being, to live experiences. So Gonzalez pivoted, like so many business owners, and brought his mapping and delivery technology to food banks.

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on food banks across the country as businesses shutter and Americans lose their jobs. Gonzalez used to live in Manhattan (he now lives in Dallas), and he says it broke his heart to see the long food lines all over New York City amid the crisis. “Right now, probably about a third of food banks and pantries in New York City do delivery. The rest do pickup orders,” he says. “What happens is, for example, if one opens at 8 a.m., they literally have a line out the door and around the block at 8 a.m.”

Called Nepjun, his new platform digitizes the infrastructure of food banks. Nepjun helps food banks and pantries set a menu, confirm packaging, and develop a protocol for distributing orders efficiently and safely. Those in need can use to find nearby food banks that are working with the platform, place online orders, and select either curbside pickup in a specific time slot, which could reduce those lines and help enforce social distancing guidelines, or delivery, for which runners will fulfill orders aided by the company’s optimized routing technology.

Currently, there is no cost to food banks or pantries to use Nepjun; Gonzalez says they have some “patient investors” and don’t want financial friction to interfere with getting these services off the ground. He adds that runners are paid competitively, though the platform is also accepting volunteers to deliver these meals, just as volunteers help staff food pantries normally. 

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Amur tiger pawprints spotted in Russia for the first time in half a century

As reported by the state-run Russian News Agency TASS, an exciting discovery was made last week: the first sighting of Amur tiger pawprints in the northeast Siberian republic of Sakha for the first time in ... Read More

These new power lines help drive the green energy transition forward

While renewables are racing to overhaul our current energy system in response to climate change, innovation has skipped over some of the basic grid infrastructure, which hasn’t changed much over the last couple of decades. ... Read More

Genetic editing in the microbiome could address a myriad of diseases

More and more research has emerged about the influence of the microbiome and gut health, not only on digestion but also on mental health and even chronic illness. In an effort to mobilize the microbiome ... Read More

Bristol’s Electric Avenue pop-up shop tackles e-waste and consumerism

A new shop in Bristol called Electric Avenue pop-up is restoring unwanted electronics before giving them away this holiday season. Bristol’s residents can bring all types of items such as lamps, keyboards, and kitchen appliances ... Read More

All new homes in England will be fitted with EV charging points

Electric vehicles are a greener alternative to traditional petrol- or diesel-powered vehicles, however, a major deterrent for drivers who are considering switching to electric is the lack of EV-charging points, meaning that drivers are plagued ... Read More

Department of the Interior moves to change derogatory US land names

We recently wrote about a California ski resort’s choice to change its derogatory name. Now, more sites around the US, specifically federal lands, will also get name changes as Interior Secretary Deb Haaland has ordered ... Read More