In recent years, technology and applications have had an increasingly philanthropic purpose. The latest of these technologies is the Share Your Calories application. The app was designed by Catherine Jones, a well-known author of nutrition cookbooks, Elaine Trujillo, a leader in nutrition, and Stop Hunger Now, an international agency aimed to end hunger across the globe.

The app can be used to help people lose weight while simultaneously providing food to people harmed by natural disasters. By adding a philanthropic purpose, the designers of the application aimed to give users another goal as well as more motivation to eat healthier. Studies also show that spending on others makes us happier than spending on ourselves, so the application, in and of itself, allows users to feel lasting happiness.

The application allows users to monitor their daily activities and food intake through a calorie bank determined by bio-data. If they do not consume all the calories in their calorie bank, the user has the option to convert the extra calories into monies. Once they have accumulated $12, the user has the option to donate to Stop Hunger Now.

Each Stop Hunger now high-protein dehydrated meal is equivalent to 250 calories and 25 cents.

The financial contributions from the Share Your Calories App go toward Stop Hunger Now meal packaging events. Each of these meals contains rice, dehydrated soy and vegetables as well as a vitamin-mineral pack. These meals are easy to store and have a shelf-life of 2 years.

These meals are currently distributed through host-organizations, but the funds from this application will also allow smaller groups and businesses to participate.

This application hopes to bring in $95,000 to build an android app, provide basic nutrition information, translate the app into different languages, etc. The Stop Hunger Now effort is supported by the Medical Science Foundation, TruBios Communications, iSO-FORM, The Ohio State University Food Innovation Center and the Experiment.

Lienna Feleke-Eshete

Sources: IndieGoGo, FoodTank
Photo: Irish Red Cross

Stop Hunger Now
Stop Hunger Now (SHN) is a hunger relief organization with the mission to end world hunger by providing food and other life-saving aid to children and families in countries all over the world. The organization believes addressing the problem of hunger is the single point where they can leverage relief for all humanitarian issues.  

In 2005, SHN created its meal packaging program, which dedicates to make and distribute meal packets for countries in need. People working and volunteering in the program combine rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 21 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packets. According to SHN website, each meal costs only 25 cents. The food stores easily, has a shelf life of two years and transports quickly.

This program has branches in the United States, South Africa, Malaysia, Philippines and Italy. Many religious institutions, civic organizations, corporations and schools have organized SHN meal packaging events. One SHN packaging event can result in the packaging of more than 1,000,000 meals.

So far, SHN has provided over 70 percent of its meals to support transformational development programs across 65 countries, such as school feeding programs, vocational training programs, early childhood development programs, orphanages, and medical clinics. It has packaged about 127 million meals.

SHN aims to allocate 80 percent of its meals to transformational development programs by 2015.

This organization partners with many non-profit organizations around the world to provide food and other aid to those in need. Those partners are chosen based on a comprehensive evaluation, including their effectiveness, sustainability, ability to import, store and distribute meals and impact.

In December 2013, SHN built a partnership with Share Your Calories (SYC,) a movement to improve people’s health and to end world hunger. It dedicates to impact both weight-loss issues and hunger issues by empowering users to take control of their own health and to make an impact in the fight against world hunger.

SYC is developing a mobile app, which is expected to be available in May. The app will allow users to track calories consumed and burned off.  Users can store unused calories into a Calorie Bank and then donate them to SHN by “sharing” them via the app. Every 250 shared calories will be converted to $0.25.

SHN believes that the world has sufficient resources to feed everyone and it is possible to end hunger in people’s lifetime.

Liying Qian

Sources: Stop Hunger Now, Stop Hunger Now-2, Stop Hunger Now-3, Share Your Calories