Here’s a new concept – feed the hungry and eat simultaneously.
Through the charitable efforts of a Minnesota-based nonprofit called “eatiply” (a combination of “eat” and “multiply”) restaurant patrons can do their part to fight world hunger and their own.
“We are not asking you to write a check, we’re not asking you to sponsor a child. All we’re asking you to do is eat,” cofounder Eric Carrara said.
It’s a simple model: For every meal purchased at a partner restaurant, a low-cost, highly nutritional meal is donated to a food bank or charity. The goal is to donate one million meals to hungry children.
“It doesn’t just help satisfy someone’s hunger for the day. These meals help with the nurturing, development and education of starving children. If you’re hungry all the time then you can’t concentrate on anything else,” eatiply regional account executive Phillip Hines said.
The tax-deductible donations from participating restaurants are only monetary and cover the cost of a meal for eatiply distributors. Approximately 87 percent of the monetary donation goes to the relief effort and the rest goes covers the operation and advertising costs of eatiply.
Customers have the option of having the meal donated locally or abroad. There are no additional fees, costs, forms or signatures required. All one has to do is eat.
“A lot of people aren’t going to go out of their way to help out,” Hines said. “If you make it really easy to do something then they’ll probably do it. This is one of the first steps in getting things on the right track.”
Eatiply began on New Year’s Day, 2013 and has donated almost 60,000 meals since. Currently 10 restaurants in the Twin Cities, Minn., 10 in Little Rock, Ark., four in Seattle, Wash. and two in Hampton Roads are participating in the effort.
Hampton Roads partners are Kimberley Ashlee Catering, a boutique catering company in Williamsburg that serves only local, organic food, and Mama Jo’s pizza, located within walking distance from campus on Colley Avenue. These restaurants will donate meals through Kids Against Hunger.
Mama Jo’s and Kimberyley Ashlee Catering started donating meals on April 15 and expect to donate at least 1,500 meals combined in their first month alone. Hines said he hopes to see 80 to 100 Hampton Roads restaurants join eatiply.
Mama Jo’s has been a charitable contributor for the local community for years, working with For Kids, Operation Smile and numerous church based charity groups.
“This is a little bit different from what he have been doing so it’s nice to try something different,” owner Nick Phipps said.
“We donate to For Kids a lot and you start getting the cards from kids… It’s like a good pat on back,” he said of lending a helping hand. ““What goes around comes around.”
- Every six seconds a child dies because of hunger and related causes (Source: State of Food Insecurity in the World, FAO, 2004) 10.9 million children under five die in developing countries each year. Malnutrition and hunger-related diseases cause 60 percent of the deaths (Source: The State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2007)
- It is estimated that 684,000 child deaths worldwide could be prevented by increasing access to vitamin A and zinc (Source: WFP Annual Report 2007) Undernutrition contributes to 53 percent of the 9.7 million deaths of children under five each year in developing countries. This means that one child dies every six seconds from malnutrition and related causes (Source: Under five deaths by cause, UNICEF, 2006)
- First Lady Michelle Obama will host a national food drive with Kids Against Hunger on July 4 and will promote eatiply as a sustainable way to tackle the world hunger crisis.
- Donated meals have a shelf life of three years.
- Approximately two-thirds of donated meals are sent abroad.
- Contact Phillip Hines to get involved (757-897-3538 or email@example.com)
by Derek Page