Your Plate Could End Hunger

I have this idea that keeps me up at night and leads me to the library on a never-ending quest to learn more but somehow understand less. I have this idea that breaks my heart and gives me hope and sparks my soul on fire all at the same time. I have this idea that if we all give a little, it adds up to a lot. I have this idea that there is enough food on this planet to feed everyone, that our collective good is greater than the sum of our parts, that small actions make big change, and that we, humankind, will not go on believing that hunger is a problem without a solution.

I have this idea, and I need your help.

I call my idea Plate Share, a social food photo-sharing smart phone application that empowers each and every one of us to make charitable giving second nature. To put it in perspective, I see it as Foodgawker for philanthropic restaurant-goers.

Here’s how it works:

Plate Share takes something we already do and turns it into an automatic charitable donation with an online social slant guaranteed to make it go viral.

What if every time you dined out or bought groceries you could use an app on your phone to round your bill up to the nearest dollar with your extra change going to feed the hungry?

It’s simple: Give change. Make change.

And what if every time you did this you snapped a picture of your plate and shared it with your friends on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram (#plateshare) and encouraged them to do the same? And they did the same and told their friends? Who then did the same and told their friends?

I tracked my food spending for the months of November and December to see how much money I would’ve donated to Plate Share had it existed. On average, my change added up to $12 a month. Doesn’t seem like much, I realize; it’s negligible in the grand scheme of my budget. But what if you did it, too? And what if all 1,600 of my Facebook friends did, too? And all of yours? And all 3,000 Twitter followers? And all of yours? And so on and so on and so on.

What I love about the Plate Share concept is that it makes charitable giving accessible to anyone. I’m not a wealthy person, but if I can afford to eat out, I can afford to give change to make change. At most you will donate $0.99, at the least $0.01 depending on how much your bill is. There’s not an option to give more than that because part of what makes Plate Share powerful is that it takes all of us to make it happen.

If we all work together, a little bit goes a long way.

Consider this:

  • $1 contributes 7 pounds of food to Feeding America (formerly Second Harvest)
  • If my 3,000 Twitter followers all joined Plate Share and donated an average $12/mo x 12 months = $432,000
  • $432K is the equivalent of 3 million pounds of food
  • The average person consumes 2,500 pounds of food annually
  • Together, we could feed 1,200 people for one year

And that’s huge. But it doesn’t end there. My scope for Plate Share is massive, and I see it scalable to a global reach.

But I’ve got to get it off the ground first, and so I need your help.

Startup Weekend Charlotte

On Friday, January 25, I’ll be pitching the Plate Share concept at Startup Weekend Charlotte where I hope to find a team of developers, designers, and (potentially) donors passionate and talented enough to launch it in just 48 hours.

Here’s the catch: I only get 60 seconds. No visuals. No props. Nothin’. Just me spittin’ love like sparks and hoping it catches fire.

How You Can Help

If you believe in the Plate Share concept and want to see it come to life, here’s what you can do to draw attention:

Twitter

  • Follow @plateshare on Twitter
  • When you dine out, take a picture of your plate and tweet: “Hey @startupwkndCLT, this plate could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $x.xx!” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • When you buy groceries, take a picture of your receipt and tweet: “Hey @startupwkndCLT, my groceries could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $x.xx!” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • Tweet: “I believe in the @plateshare project. Support @sweettaterblog at @startupwkndCLT to help #endhunger”
  • Tweet: “Give change, make change. Support @sweettaterblog and the @plateshare project at @startupwkndCLT to help #endhunger”
  • Share the “Give Change, Make Change” photo below

Instagram

  • When you dine out, take a picture of your plate and add the caption: “Hey #startupwkndCLT, this plate could help #endhunger. Support @sweettaterblog & the @plateshare project so I can donate $x.xx! #plateshare” [Fill in the x's with the amount of change it would take to round your bill to the nearest dollar.]
  • Share the “Give Change, Make Change” photo below

Facebook

  • Like Plate Share on Facebook HERE
  • Share a link to this post and/or www.plateshare.org
  • Share your #plateshare Instagrams and TwitPics to your timeline
  • Post the “Give Change, Make Change” picture below to your timeline

Bloggers

  • Link to this post from your blog and encourage others to do the same
  • Tweet the living hell out of all of this
  • Post this to your blog’s Facebook page
  • Follow @plateshare on Twitter

Important Info

  • Website: www.plateshare.org
  • Facebook: www.facebook.com/plateshare
  • Twitter: @plateshare, @sweettaterblog (Katie Levans, Founder), @startupwkndCLT (where I’m pitching this weekend)
  • Hashtags: #plateshare, #endhunger, #CLT, #CLTfood
  • Instagram: sweettaterblog (no plateshare instagram yet…)
  • 10-second summary: Plate share is a social food photo-sharing smart phone application that empowers each and every one of us to make charitable giving second nature by rounding your restaurant bill to the nearest dollar and donating the change to feed the hungry.

THANK YOU

26 thoughts on “Your Plate Could End Hunger

  1. Your passion is contagious, but if you haven’t, please go read Toxic Charity by Lupton. Americans don’t die of starvation – too many well-functioning (but enabling…) safety nets in place already here. START international!

  2. It’s a great idea but I’d want a way to do it without a smartphone.. because I don’t have one and don’t plan to get one anytime soon.

  3. This literally genius. I’m so impressed with this concept, and excited because I read this and thought, “this is going to happen.” I’ll definitely be sharing this!

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  5. This is a spectacular idea and I would love nothing more than to see this take off. I hope all goes well in Charlotte and if not, other crowd funding sites you may be interested in (though you may already know) are kickstarter.com and indiegogo.com. Good Luck!!!

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  13. Katie – I have been following this little venture of yours all weekend and I AM SO DAMN EXCITED ABOUT IT. This is seriously such a brilliant idea and I really hope it takes off. Dream it. Do it. This is awesome.

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