A non-profit innovation from the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the ShareTheMeal app is designed to make providing a meal to a child in need as simple as possible - with each donation of 40 cents making it possible to feed one child for one full day. One tap on your phone is enough to make the donation, while the United Nations World Food Programme provides the meal and offers information about progress and distribution.
The good news is that the app is good at what it does. It has already been responsible for more than 24,350,000 shared meals, and has won numerous awards in its short history, since being founded in 2014 by two Germans: Bernhard Kowatsch and Sebastian Stricker. Stricker was a consultant for the WFP, and had an idea to crowdfund meal sharing. Together with Kowatsch he was able to push the idea into a reality.
The app prompts you to add friends to create teams that go above and beyond a single meal, or to create situations where friends joining for a meal can make a small but powerful donation before eating - similar to being encouraged to offset your carbon emissions before a flight. A new feature called 'The Table' aims to enable a close peer-to-peer giving experience, where unique registered beneficiaries with the UN WFP in developing countries can receive more direct donations. Operating costs are funded by innovation grants from the WFP, as well as donations from businesses and philanthropists.
RESET wrote about the app back in 2015, but was able to speak with the company at the Tech Open Air conference in Berlin and get an update. ShareTheMeal explained that it has a high conversion rate, with close to 30 per cent of users that download the app sharing at least one meal, while 3 percent of users have shared 90 meals or more.
The app now has more than one million users across iOS and Android, with 70 per cent under the age of 40, while more than 25 people work for the non-profit to support it - many volunteering their time. Germany and the US are the leaders of meal shares, with more users tending to be sharing via the iOS platform. The gender split at last check was male-dominated, with 67% male and 33% female.
One of the most searched for questions regarding the service is "Is ShareTheMeal legit?", and the pleasing news is that it is: donations are tracked via the UN WFP database, and the donation may be tax deductible depending on your location.
Donations can be made towards a particular cause or even a family, and is available in a wide range of languages and local currencies, including EUR, USD, GBP, and many more.
The app is available for download on iOS or Android right here.