Second Helpings, Beaufort County, South Carolina

Volunteers at Second Helpings pick up food donations from grocery stores across the region, and then redistribute the donations to food banks, churches, and soup kitchens to feed the hungry. Food pick-ups and drop-offs were once logged using clipboards and pens, and then hand-entered into spreadsheets at the office.

In 2012, two service-learning projects completed by computer science classes at Bowdoin College changed this. For the first project, a 3-student team built a database system to track food donations from local stores and deliveries at service centers. The second project resulted in a mobile app, used by volunteers on the trucks to record pick-ups and drop-offs of food instantly.

This project replaced the clipboards and pens previously used by Second Helpings volunteers, and it provides more accurate and timely reports for donating stores and other supporting agencies.

Development Triad

  • Non-Profit: Second Helpings, Inc., Hilton Head, SC required on-line food pickup and delivery record keeping and scheduling to replace its manual paper-based system.
  • The University: Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine developed the Homeplate application with 3 computer science students and an instructor during the spring and summer 2012 semesters.
  • The Software Professional: From 2012 to 2017, Progressive Technology, Inc. in Bluffton, SC provided technical support for  Homeplate.  Since 2017, NPFI has been providing technical support.  Homeplate hosting is provided by Godaddy.


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