Help Local Restaurants And Those In Need Of Food With This App

Marla Diamond
April 02, 2020 - 2:14 pm

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New Yorkers can easily support their local restaurants and those in need of food during the coronavirus crisis with an app on their smartphones.

The Spare Hunger app was created five years ago by Andra Tomsa, a single mom raising her son in the South Bronx, where she witnessed the need at local food pantries.

The app links to your bank card and rounds up take out and grocery bills to the nearest dollar. That change is donated to Food Bank for New York City, which operates over 1,000 pantries and soup kitchens throughout the five boroughs.

"They've seen a 50% increase in the past few weeks in people needing their resources. You know, people having to choose between barely making rent and groceries and electric with no income coming in are turning to food banks. That's the only option," Tomsa said. "We just are huge fans of the services that they provide and the way that they do it so we're just happy to help them through this crisis and I think they're the ones bearing the brunt of it."

Her goal is to engage 200,000 users to make a lasting impact for the food bank.

"It might not sound like it's super impactful, but engaging 200,000 users rounding up on average $15 a month, which is what we see users round up, would generate $18 million in six months," Tomsa said, adding that $1 can provide 10 meals to hungry New Yorkers. "It does aggregate in scale quite nicely and it allows people to participate in a larger movement while really contributing very little themselves."

Tomsa said the general sentiment among New Yorkers stuck at home is that they want to get out there to help but are limited in their capacity to do so. The food bank has seen a 50% increase of New Yorkers in need of food in just the past few weeks.

The food bank is now matching all donations from users.

Spare Hunger can be downloaded from the Apple app store and Google Play. 

For more information visit their website SpareUSA.org.

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