Changing the world, 50 cents at a time: New app helps feed Syrian refugee children

Clicktivism meets philanthropy in the ShareTheMeal app, which enables a simple and easy method of donating to the World Food Programme.

While we can argue all day about what the best diet for the planet is, or what the best foods to eat for optimal health or fitness are, many people around the world are simply trying to get enough to eat, period.

An estimated one out of every nine people on the planet (and one out of every seven kids) doesn't get enough food to eat every day, and for them, there is no discussion of what the best eco-friendly diet is, or what superfoods are the healthiest. Instead, their thoughts about food are much more basic, and center around the need to simply get enough to eat to stave off hunger for another day, no matter what it is. And considering how ridiculously cheap it is to provide for a day's worth of food through an initiative such as the UN's World Food Programme, and how relatively abundant our lives are here in the developed world, it's a travesty that so many people continue to go hungry every day.

But that could start to change, if the new ShareTheMeal app gets enough traction with smartphone users, because this application can make donating to an organization that is actively working to end world hunger as easy as a couple of clicks. The ShareTheMeal app, which has now launched worldwide, was originally released as a test in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland in June of this year, and attracted some 120,000 users, who generated donations worth "more than 1.7 million meals to children in need" in Lesotho, so the team behind the app is confident that this approach has potential for impact on world hunger statistics.

It turns out that for just 50 cents (USD), the World Food Programme can feed a child for an entire day, which is a far cry from what most of us spend on just a single coffee, so the economics of feeding a hungry child aren't beyond what the average person could afford. Using the app is as simple as setting up a payment method and choosing when and how much to donate, which makes it an easy method of giving to those less fortunate than us.

"People use their smartphones to buy books, groceries, and to pay their rent. So why not use it as a means to help other people? The idea of ShareTheMeal is simple, and that's exactly why it works. We can move fundraising into the 21st century. This is a tool to "crowdsolve" global hunger." - Sebastian Stricker, founder of ShareTheMeal

The app, which is available for iOS and Android, is free, and users can choose to donate for a single meal, or a weekly or monthly amount, as well as receive reminders at set times throughout the day (such as just before a meal, for example). Once a donation has been made, users will see a picture and information about one of the people their donation will feed, which in this case will be Syrian refugee children currently living in Jordan.

"We are currently raising funds to feed children who have fled ongoing conflict in Syria to Jordan. This is the fifth year away from home for many Syrian children and their families. Many refugee families face dire need.

Our current goal is to provide school meals to 20.000 Syrian children in refugee camps in Jordan for a full year. With school meals, we will provide vital nutrition and help them focus on their studies, rather than on empty stomachs." - ShareTheMeal

Find out more at ShareTheMeal.

Tags: Apps | Charities


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