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El Buen Samaritano: Implementing Data Collection Software at El Buen Samaritano

Project Description

For over 30 years, the El Buen Samaritano Food Program (EBS) has served the Worcester community by providing food and clothing to those in need. Since its founding, the organization has used a pen and paper system to track the resources they provide and collect demographic information on their clients which is needed to secure grant funding and receive food from groups such as the Worcester County Food Bank.

EBS is now looking to upgrade to a digital system to collect, store, and present this data to improve the efficiency of their operations. Our project is a continuation of a project started in 2022, and has the goal of identifying and implementing a digital solution for EBS and to ensure it can last as a permanent solution.

El Buen Samaritano

Founded in 1991, El Buen Samaritano has served the Worcester community by supplying food, clothing, and other resources to families in need. The group is staffed entirely by volunteers and serves roughly 500 families each month.

Student Researchers

Matthew McAlarney
Matthew is a Computer Science Major in the class of 2024. He is from Lexington Massachusetts.

Leo Morris
Leo is a Robotics Engineering Major graduating in 2023 from Lunenburg Massachusetts.

Fabrizio Filizzola
Fabrizio is a Computer Science Major in the class of 2024. He is an international student from Paraguay.

Vivian Reno
Vivian is a Computer Science Major in the class of 2024. She is from Grafton Massachusetts.

Project Goal and Objectives

The goal of the project is to identify barriers to implementing a single digital data collection system at EBS that records all data that the organization needs, and work with them to find and implement solutions. Additionally, we will work to leverage the capabilities of the data collection system to collect all necessary client information and generate reports to present the data to grantors.

The Objectives of our project are:

1: Identify EBS’ requirements for the digital system

2: Explore how other food pantries collect client information

3: Compare the solution from 2022 to other data collection tools

4: Find solutions to policies restricting food pantries from collecting data electronically

5: Propose and implement the solutions that will work best for EBS

Final Report and Deliverables

Our team worked with EBS to implement PantrySOFT, a web-based software specially designed for food pantries. You can read the full report on our project below.

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