The Lunchbox Fund transforms photo-sharing into food-sharing
August 28, 2013
Feedie lets your share physical food via virtual sharing
Nonprofit The Lunchbox Fund has released a mobile application that lets consumers share photos of meals in exchange for donating food to orphaned and vulnerable children in South Africa.
The Lunchbox Fund partnered with a number of restaurants to create Feedie, and every time a diner posts a picture from one of the participating restaurants, the restaurant will make a donation to The Lunchbox Fund. Mobile photo-sharing continues to gain traction with consumers, which could be particularly effective in driving quick donations for the nonprofit.
“The beauty of this being a mobile/social platform is that it promotes itself,” said Topaz Page-Green, founder of The Lunchbox Fund, New York.
“A Feedie doesn’t have to do a thing but what he or she is already doing, taking food photos,” she said. “We turn that into our messaging platform to promote restaurants, who in turn make a donation for their guests.
"We’re also able to leverage the social media of the restaurants, who really took our cause seriously due to our relationship with Mario Batali.”
The Lunchbox Fund is a nonprofit organization that works to provide a daily meal for orphaned and vulnerable school children in township and rural areas in South Africa.
When a consumer is dining at one of the participating restaurants he or she can open the Feedie app, select the restaurant and check-in. Then the consumer takes a picture of the meal and shares it on Facebook or Twitter, and the restaurant will make a donation to The Lunchbox Fund.
A user shares a photo of his meal
Feedie includes about 100 participating restaurants as of now, and most are located in New York City. However, the company plans to expand in the near future.
Thus far Feedie has partnered with restaurants such as Babbo, Del Posto, Acme, Vermillion and Coles.
The app also features an interactive map that helps users find participating restaurants.
Feedie is available for free in Apple’s App Store.
Since photo-sharing, and especially food-photo-sharing, has become extremely popular on sites such as Facebook and Twitter, this app caters to a popular trend and converts that to charitable actions.
“Meals are moments of connecting and sharing,” Ms. Page-Green said. “And these days, that connecting and sharing extends into their digital lives. Millions of people take food photos and share them on their social networks.
“So we asked ourselves, ‘What if you could share real food every time you shared a food photo?’ It was really quite simple.”
A map of participating restaurants
Many other nonprofits are also trying to incorporate mobile and phone cameras into their charitable efforts.
For example, Cuipo recently created an app that lets consumers add rainforest creatures to their pictures. The app is meant to increase awareness for rainforest preservation (see story).
The World Wildife Fund also released an app that leverages a phone’s camera capabilities. The interactive app is meant to educate users about endangered species (see story).
“The greatest benefit of mobile is empowerment,” Ms. Page-Green said. “The world is speeding up, and people have a lot of things to do. Mobile helps them accomplish these things.
“But amongst those things is the desire to give back and do good in the world,” she said. “So we decided to give people the power to do just that. So mobile was the sensible solution.”
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer New York
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