Digital volunteering: WebScience develops a software for a soup kitchen

Recently we’ve collaborated with the soup kitchen in Via Ponzio, a charitable organization in Milan that deals with serving a hot meal a day to the needy people of the city. More than 130,000 meals are served every year, thanks to the help of about 250 volunteers. 

A WebScience team has offered its skills for the creation of a tailor-made software that allows to manage the shifts of volunteers on the different roles necessary for the daily functioning of the canteen: the service of food and water, the cleaning of tables and trays, the management of the entrance and exit of the canteen, and others. 

In particular, an algorithm was developed to automatically calculate the weekly planning of the roles of the volunteers

  1. Respecting the availability of volunteers 
  2. Managing exceptions on availability (absences, extra-availability) 
  3. Respecting the skills and attitudes of volunteers (some roles are more specialized than others) 
  4. Managing required roles and optional roles 
  5. Rotating volunteers on different roles, to spread skills and make volunteering more funù 


    The goal is to save the large amount of time required for canteen managers to manage this process.  


    These experiences are the ones where we most easily rediscover ourselves and our colleagues, the real motivations that move us and the relationships that bind us.