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Asheville will be host this weekend to a first-of-its-kind hackathon, the Hack for Food. A “hackathon” unites technology and other subject matter experts around a common goal to build software solutions that address a specific need.

Presented by Code for Asheville, a local volunteer brigade of Code for America, the Hack for Food will target the goals of the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, including building an inventory of local food resources, improving access to food for those in need, encouraging locally grown food to be served in city and county schools and much more.

Software developers, designers, local-food enthusiasts and other interested citizens are invited to participate, cross pollinate ideas and create new products and tools to innovate and improve the food ecosystem. Technology skills are welcome but not a prerequisite.

The Hack for Food will begin on Friday, May 31, at 7 p.m. at Mojo Coworking in downtown Asheville. City Councilman Gordon Smith, an  organizer of the the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council, will kick off the event after which attendees will break out into teams to develop project ideas. The Hack for Food teams will then return to work all day Saturday, June 1, at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College, to develop their ideas into technology solutions. At the end of the day, judges will evaluate the results and award prizes to the winning teams.

The Hack for Food is one of nearly 100 hackathons taking place this weekend around the country as part of the National Day of Civic Hacking. Nationwide, more than 5000 people are expected to collaborate and use publicly available data to solve challenges relevant to our neighborhoods, cities, states and country.

For more information and registration, visit http://codeforasheville.org/hackathon.html.

Code for Asheville, a local Brigade of Code for America, launched in January 2013. Code for Asheville is a group of volunteers that promotes access to open government data and leverages the power of the internet to help government work better for everyone.

-Press release from Code for Asheville, shared May 29.

Angie Newsome

Angie Newsome is the executive director and editor of Carolina Public Press. Contact her at (828) 774-5290 or e-mail her at anewsome@carolinapublicpress.org.

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