Tap Your Phone, Feed a Child



ShareTheMeal_2Did you know that it only costs $0.50 to feed a child for a whole day? The World Food Programme is making this fact known far and wide through its new mobile app, ShareTheMeal, which is now available for Apple and Android users. It has already been dubbed as “the world’s first app against global hunger.”[1]

The app was created by Sebastian Stricker and Bernhard Kowatsch in April 2014. They knew it was inexpensive to feed children through the WFP, and wanted to develop an easier way that smartphone users across the globe could help contribute to ensuring that no child goes hungry.

Earlier this year, ShareTheMeal was used to help feed schoolchildren in Lesotho. Now, efforts are being redirected to help Syrian children living in refugee camps in Jordan. Some children have been living in refugee camps for five years now; those who are currently fleeing face daily struggles of surviving.


Innovative App Tracks All Meals Shared


The current goal is “to provide school meals to 20,000 Syrian children in refugee camps in Jordan for a full year.”[2] Over 2.5 million meals have been shared through the app so far. Enjoying a meal while at school will ensure the children are provided with proper nutrients, help them concentrate on learning, and help led a normalized life.

Users who first download the app are greeted with the following message: “It costs US$ 0.50 to feed one child for day through the United Nations World Food Programme. Smartphone users outnumber hungry children by 20 to 1. Imagine the impact we can have together!”

The app tracks the total number of meals shared from all users, as well as your own personal contributions. There is also a bar that tracks the overall progress of the app’s initial goal to provide 20,000 children meals for a full year. All of the goals on the app are continually updated, so you can always see how the campaign is progressing.


Options for Sharing Meals


ShareTheMeal_3The ShareTheMeal app also has larger donation options for those wishing to contribute more than one day’s worth of meals (€0.40). The largest pre-set option is €146.00, which provides enough meals for one child for a full year. Other options include meals for one week, one month, three months and six months. Since ShareTheMeal is based in Germany, all monetary contributions made through the app are in Euros.

The WFP only takes 5 cents from each donation to cover their overhead costs, and the rest goes directly to providing meals.

ShareTheMeal is currently available in eight different languages. The idea behind launching the app is for the WFP to latch onto the obsession people have with their smartphones. Smartphone users check their phones multiple times over the span of a single hour. ShareTheMeal is set up to send users push notifications (which can be disabled) that encourage donations. The goal is to have users tap their phone for donations on an ongoing basis, rather than as a one-off.

You can watch a video about the app here. You can also follow ShareTheMeal on Facebook and Twitter.



[1] https://sharethemeal.org/en/values.html

[2] https://sharethemeal.org/en/help.html


Elizabeth DiCesare

Elizabeth DiCesare

Elizabeth is a writer currently based in Kitchener-Waterloo.

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