Phone Apps Fighting World Hunger
Hunger is a problem for more than 600 million people around the world. The number of people that are food-insecure, meaning that they lack “consistent access to enough food to have an active and healthy life,” has risen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Feeding America projects that the 2018 food insecurity rate will increase by nearly 5% among the general population due to the pandemic. One can see similar trends worldwide. The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that approximately 111 million more people will experience acute food insecurity in 2021 than in 2020. In response to data like this, a number of companies have developed apps fighting world hunger or have included new forums within pre-existing apps to help reduce hunger’s impact internationally.
Rakuten Viber, a communication app, announced it would initiate a campaign to raise funds to combat world hunger. The campaign includes a “Fighting World Hunger” community group, which resembles a large chatroom that members can add themselves to. The group aims to promote the improvement of members’ consumption habits by focusing on ways to consciously shop, cook and eat to reduce food waste, as well as posting data regularly about world hunger for members to read.
In addition to creating its community, Viber also launched a downloadable food-themed sticker package, of which proceeds will be donated to the cause. This is an addition to committing to donate $10,000 to charities fighting world hunger like the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), World Wide Fund (for Nature) (WWF), UNICEF, U-report and U.N. Migration once the community group reaches one million users.
ShareTheMeal, an app developed by the U.N.’s World Food Programme, allows users to donate to help feed children worldwide. With a quick tap, the program accepts a $0.80 donation — the amount the organization has deemed necessary to pay for a meal abroad for most children. Since launching, ShareTheMeal has shared more than 100 million meals with those in need.
Chowberry, a Nigerian-based app, is also fighting global hunger. Chowberry is focused on ending food waste in Africa by connecting families in need to local supermarkets with nearly expired — but still safe for consumption — foods. Stores use the Chowberry app to scan the barcodes of food products. Once uploaded, the app informs retailers when the products have reached the “best before” date and automatically offers those products at a reduced price through the app and the accompanying retail website. The closer the products are to the latest possible selling date, the lower the price is. For more economically unstable families, the app helps provide more affordable and consistent food options without causing retailers to lose profit.
Another app fighting world hunger is OLIO, an app that encourages community sharing. OLIO members upload photos and descriptions to the app of food or other household items they no longer want or cannot use. Other members can then browse for items through the app, directly message the person who posted about the items and arrange pickup for the items they would like to claim. The app currently hosts more than three million users and has shared more than 21 million portions of food across 51 countries. The app’s navigation is only available for English and Spanish speakers, but people can use local languages in messaging and posting. OLIO hopes to add more languages soon to become more user-friendly.
Apps Fighting World Hunger
Hunger is a significant issue affecting countries across the world. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, global hunger rates have grown along with the number of families suffering from acute food insecurity. While several international programs offer hunger relief on a larger scale, millions of people can also help lessen the impact of COVID-19 and other global crises by downloading apps fighting world hunger.
– Grace Parker