The Malaysian community on social news aggregation website Reddit has started an ambitious project called the White Flag Project. Organised by the r/Malaysia subreddit, the project is aimed to gather and consolidate data on every single food bank they can find from various sources.
White Flag Project started a little over two weeks ago when users in the subreddit spotted a problem: food banks are difficult to locate and interact with, which led to those in need falling through cracks in order to seek help. The community discovered that the root cause of this is the lack of organisation, as several apps collect their own data separately.
Realising this, thousands of users of the community from all over the country set out to gather the locations and relevant information of food banks into one spot via the project. Through their efforts, data from social media and every other relevant sources are gathered in the White Flag Project database.
Volunteers coordinate their efforts on Discord to not only locate the food banks, but also contact them for more information. Looking at the database, the data is wonderfully granular; the info includes exact location of the food banks, their contact info, what they provide, what kind of organisation they are, their operating hours, whether they’re still active, and so much more. The data presented have been proven useful, especially to websites such as Sambal SOS, foodbank-my, Kita Boleh, Feed Selangor, and more.
As the time of writing, the White Flag Project’s database has more than 668 food banks and growing rapidly. If you wish to contribute to the effort, you may do so by heading over to their Discord server via this link. Aside from volunteers to update the list, they’re also looking for web developers and those involved in Public Relations to help expand the project.
Some of their upcoming projects include an anti-cheating app, a link for food banks to update their own status, a WhatsApp chatbot, and an easier way for sites to plug into their dataset. r/Malaysia moderators also stated that for every food bank added to the list, they’ll be donating RM1 to a COVID-19 relief fund in the name of the volunteer.