Help People in PovertyResearchers and innovators across the world create inventions that can help people deal with the impacts of living in poverty or hunger. Here are five inventions helping those in need.

5 Inventions to Help People in Poverty

  1. The Lucky Iron Fish — The Lucky Iron Fish is a small invention that reduces iron deficiency in marginalized communities. Iron deficiency impacts energy levels, concentration, memory and cognitive development. Iron deficiency impacts over 2 billion people globally, making it the most widespread nutritional disorder around the world. Additionally, women are more affected by this deficiency, especially during pregnancy. People can add the Lucky Iron Fish to boiling water so that it can enrich vegetables with iron.
  2. 3D Food Printing — Food printing is a relatively new innovation. It is a potential solution to global hunger. Nevertheless, 3D food printing can create a stable food source for impoverished areas. This innovation can address malnutrition through custom features that allow creators to set standards for nutritional additions. The printers also have on-demand usage. This is a suitable solution for countries dealing with natural disasters in which food production or food supplies are unstable. Food printers can bring these benefits to impoverished areas and also produce less waste.
  3. Feedie — People already love to snap pictures of their delicious meals before posting them on social media. Feedie is an app that allows users to help feed people around the world by just taking a picture of their meal. Each picture turns into a donation to the Lunchbox Fund which it can then use to produce meals for people in poverty all around the world.
  4. Golden Rice — Vitamin A deficiency has become a public health issue due to the impact the deficiency has had on children around the world. Vitamin A deficiency is responsible for over 500,000 cases of irreversible blindness in children under the age of 5. Golden Rice is a type of rice that has been genetically modified to contain three new genes that help create provitamin A. The Filipino government was the first to allow Golden Rice for direct use. Many countries rely on rice as a food source; Golden Rice is an innovation that will not cause drastic changes to current diets.
  5. Growing Shoes — Many children in poverty around the world are at risk for soil-transmitted diseases and parasites if they cannot afford a suitable pair of shoes. Growing Shoes is a durable shoe that expands in several places, allowing children to adjust the size as their feet continue to grow. The shoe can grow up to five sizes. Growing Shoes are specifically meant to help children in poverty who are constantly on the go and need protection from environmental factors. 

As long as poverty and hunger continue to be a global issue, people around the world are creating new products to help people living in these destitute conditions. These small inventions help an entire community through iron fish, a grain of rice or growing shoe at a time.

Camryn Anthony
Photo: Flickr

Apps That Help Fight HungerHunger is a crisis facing many countries and communities around the world, with about 821 million people experiencing moderate to severe food insecurity. According to the United Nations, the biggest risk to worldwide health is hunger and malnutrition. Several programs already exist to help fight this issue such as food banks, food stamps, shelters and agencies like World Bank and the International Fund for Agriculture Development. However, there is an up and coming way for anyone to be able to provide assistance—smartphone apps. These five apps that help fight hunger offer various ways to give help with little more than the tap of a finger.

Five Apps That Help Fight Hunger

  1. Share the Meal – The U.N. World Food Programme created Share the Meal. The WFP helps 80 million people with food assistance and is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting against hunger. Download the app, donate $0.50 or more and feed a child for the day. The WFP then receives the funds, provides the meal and will even show in the app where the meal will go.
  2. Feedie – Feedie is an app that partners with the Lunchbox Fund to provide a meal to underserved children around the world. Over 12 million meals have been given through the app as well as through donations. Download the app, find a participating restaurant, take and share a picture of the meal and the restaurant will make a donation that equals the cost of one meal.
  3. OLIO – OLIO is a food-sharing app based in the UK that allows people and local businesses to post food items nearing their best-by or sell-by date for other people to pick up. To date, over 1 million people have joined the app and 1.8 million portions of food have been shared. To post items, download the app, add a picture and description of the item, list when and where it can be picked up and wait for someone to claim it. To request items, scroll through the local listings, request what is needed and arrange to pick up through a private message.
  4. Chowberry Chowberry is an online app, similar to OLIO, based in Nigeria that allows consumers and organizations to find food products listed by retailers that are nearing their sell-by date. Chowberry works with orphanages and faith-based organizations, as well as everyday customers. Sign up for the website and scroll through several participating stores and listed items to find needed items.
  5. WeFarm WeFarm is a farmer-to-farmer digital network that allows farmers to connect to other farmers in various parts of the world, without the use of the internet. More than 1 million farmers have been helped using WeFarm and over 40 thousand questions and answers are sent in each day. Farmers can text their local WeFarm number a question they have, and other connected farmers can respond with their answers and suggestions.

Hunger is an ongoing issue that millions of people face every day. These five apps that help fight hunger offer several different solutions to both those in need and those that are able to help. From donating a few cents, to listing discounted products, to connecting farmers around the world and more, helping those dealing with hunger can be a quick and easy process requiring nothing more than a cellphone.

– Jessica Winarski
Photo: Flickr

“Feedie” and The Lunchbox Fund Fight Childhood Hunger in South AfricaAccording to the Lunchbox Fund, 12 million South African children under the age of six are living below the poverty line. Unsurprisingly, this means that a fifth of households in South Africa experience continual hunger.

This has daunting consequences. Lack of adequate nutrition can cause growth stunting. In fact, 27 percent of children under the age of five have stunted growth in South Africa. In many cases this is irreversible. Malnutrition causes not only physical damage but mental deterioration as well. It negatively affects children’s learning ability and capacity to concentrate. When the top priority of a household is to fulfill hunger, and it struggles in doing so, the importance of school drops to a negligible level.

An app and a nonprofit have partnered to fight this problem and reduce childhood hunger in South Africa.


Feedie is an app that allows food lovers to share photos of their meals on social media pages. However, this is not just any food photography app. It allows foodies to take their love of photographing food to a humanitarian level.

With the app, people can upload photos of their meals at participating restaurants, and that restaurant will donate 25 cents to the Lunchbox Fund, which provides lunches for impoverished South African schoolchildren. There are approximately 100 participating restaurants, including Del Posto, The Spotted Pig and La Esquina in New York.

The Lunchbox Fund

The Lunchbox Fund is a nonprofit that focuses on childhood hunger in South Africa. They work to provide a daily nutritious meal to orphaned and poor school children in townships and rural communities in South Africa. They believe that food insecurity should not inhibit children from achieving a basic human right: going to school.

The Lunchbox Fund has created a menu revolving around nutritious foods that children love, including maize, rice, lentils, beans, samp, gravy, soya mince, porridge, soy milk, 100 percent juice, peanut butter and vegetables. These meals have been approved by the Nutrition Information Centre at the University of Stellenbosch, ensuring that they contain adequate amounts of macronutrients and micronutrients that are essential to healthy brain and body development.

They work in all nine provinces and are dedicated to providing daily lunch meals to schoolchildren yearly. The Lunchbox Fund has calculated that 4,719,480 meals are necessary to feed vulnerable children in all provinces. They aim to reach four million children that do not receive government food subsidies at school.

Successes and Donations

The Lunchbox Fund has been feeding children since 2005. Since its birth, it has served an impressive 14.4 million meals. Just in 2017, 4.9 million meals were served. Even more astounding is that 25,000 children receive meals every day.

Schools that have nutrition programs tend to see higher academic achievement among students. Attendance and academic retention increases when children can focus and look forward to eating a fulfilling meal. Schools partnered with the Lunchbox Fund can expect to experience these trends.

Every cent that is donated goes toward fighting childhood hunger in South Africa. Impressively, if the average amount of money that Americans spend weekly on groceries ($151) were donated, it would feed three students for an entire year. This illustrates the huge impact that an inexpensive meal can have on a child’s health and education. The success of the Lunchbox Fund can serve as a model to help children at risk of hunger all over the world.

– Mary McCarthy

Photo: Flickr

Making a difference has become increasingly easy in the technological age. Various mobile charity applications, websites and internet services have made effortless giving entail just another click of a button in one’s daily routine. Here are four digital platforms that allow you to give while doing the things you already do, without spending an extra penny:

1. Tab for a Cause

Tab for a Cause is a browser extension that resets a user’s homepage to a customizable Tab for a Cause page. Every time a user opens a tab, this page is displayed. Tab for a Cause generates between 1/10 and 1/3 of a cent of ad revenue with every opened tab because of the various advertisements displayed on the page. For every tab opened, users receive a “heart” which they can allocate to different causes of their choice including human rights, water, education, health and the environment. The money generated is allocated accordingly at the end of each quarter to corresponding charities that have partnered with the company. The site reports that it has raised over $135,000 for charity since its launch.

2. Charity Miles

Charity Miles pairs users with corporate sponsors that donate to charity for every mile users bike, run or walk. When users are ready to exercise, they can open the app to select one of nine non-profit organizations and then proceed with their routine. While the app is open, an advertisement from the sponsor is displayed. The charity app uses mobile GPS services to measure distance traveled. Biking earns up to 10 cents per mile, while walking and running earns up to 25 cents per mile. Sponsors include Timex Sports, Johnson & Johnson and Kenneth Cole.

3. Feedie

Feedie is a mobile charity app that is an excellent effortless giving tool for foodies who love to share their experiences with others. The app allows users to check in at participating restaurants around the United States, take a picture of the food and share it via social media. For every picture, participating restaurants donate 25 cents for the publicity. This pays for approximately one meal from The Lunchbox Fund, which distributes daily meals to at-risk students in South Africa.
Therefore, every photo of a meal translates into the provision of a real meal to a child in need.

4. Check-in for Good

Check-in for Good is a mobile app that allows users to raise money for causes when they check-in at participating businesses on their mobile devices. When consumers download the app, they have the opportunity to choose the causes that they want to support and find local businesses that support those causes. When they check-in using GPS services on their phones, the businesses donate a small amount to the given cause. Participating businesses also provide promotional offers through the app, which gives consumers a good deal. Users have control of whether or not they want to share their check-ins on social media. They can also use geo-targeted advertising to find new businesses to explore. Behind the scenes, the platform allows fundraising groups to ask local businesses to make micro-donations when someone checks-in with an offer to support that group. This allows consumers to save money and businesses to expand their reach, along with raising money for specific causes.

While these charity apps and websites may not produce life-changing results on an individual scale, the donations can certainly add up.

– Arin Kerstein

Sources: ABC News, Check-in for Good, Feedie, Life Hacker, Nonprofit Quarterly, Tab for a Cause
Photo: Verizon