In October of 2015 I interviewed Andrew Glantz, a W.U. student, the founder and CEO of GiftAMeal, a phone app that cleverly provide meals for those in need (here is the link to that post). The program is still in operation today. It has spread across other cities in Missouri, Chicago, and Detroit. I thought you would enjoy reading how Glantz and his team have raised funds for Operation Food Search in the age of the coronavirus.
GiftAMeal Helps Raise $20,000 in Emergency COVID-19 Hunger Relief Matching Campaign.
Just 10 days after launching a $5,000 matching donation challenge to its mobile app users, St. Louis based startup GiftAMeal announced today that a total of $20,000 was raised for Operation Food Search’s local hunger relief efforts.
Kristen Wild, Executive Director of Operation Food Search, commended the speedy effort: “GiftAMeal has always been a dependable source of donations with their ongoing program, but the results of the matching gift campaign are amazing. Their response comes at a time when it matters most urgently, and we’re so grateful to GiftAMeal, their users, and everyone involved with their program.”
For his part, GiftAMeal founder Andrew Glantz was equally amazed at the outpouring of support from the community. “It’s incredible, the generosity of our users and supporters. Our program’s donations have always been funded by our partner restaurants, and totally free to our users. So when I reached out to them, I was hopeful but not expecting a huge immediate response like this. We’re through the roof excited at what our supporters have done in just over a week.”
The donations started coming in soon after the startup announced to users a 5-point plan to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the local community.
“I’m proud of what we’ve done in such a short time. But the credit on this huge donation to Operation Food Search belongs to our users. We set what we thought was an ambitious goal, and they donated three times that. It’s amazing,” commented Glantz. “In addition to this donation campaign, we’ve been working hard to support our restaurant partners and our community by changing our app to allow our users to take a photo of their take-out, delivery, and even gift card purchases to give a meal to someone in need even after this campaign.”
The funds will be used locally, to help Operation Food Search provide emergency food to those in need throughout the greater St. Louis area. According to the organization’s website, $20,000 is enough to provide eight thousand family meal kits.
“Even in a tough time like this, people are really coming together to help their neighbors. I’ve had restaurants call me about donating extra food, wanting to know how they could get set up with our food bank partner or local pantries — everywhere I look, people are wanting to help.” Glantz marveled, “This town is amazing.”
GiftAMeal is a mobile app that helps provide a meal to someone in need each time a user takes a photo of their order from one of 200 participating restaurants. Over 400,000 meals have been given to those in need through the program so far.
Check out www.giftameal.com for more information.