Food Porn for a Cause: Feedie App Feeds Hungry Children with Your Food Photos

By Elizabeth Simmons for DietsInReview.com

Like it or not, taking pictures of our meals and sharing them via social media is a part of our everyday lives. Food pictures are shared when a meal is pretty, cheap or simply delicious. Though we tend to make fun of those share "food porn" pictures of their meals, a new app may cause the late adopters to jump on the food-sharing bandwagon. Feedie is looking to turn people's pictures of meals into actual meals for children in need.Your food photos can feed hungry children in South Africa with Feedie.

The app will be launched by the same people who created the Lunchbox Fund in 2004, which delivers meals to hungry children in South Africa.

Co-Founder of the Lunchbox Fund Topaz Page Green, who currently lives in New York, is originally from South Africa. There, she said 65 percent of children are living below the poverty line. Because of this, she was inspired to start the Lunchbox Fund. Though there was already a school lunch program in place, started by Nelson Mandela, it only reached about eight million children. She wanted to feed the rest.

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"The Lunchbox Fund was created to provide children with their only guaranteed meal of the day, and it encourages children to come to school," Green said. "That's the reason we do this. It's an intervention point and checks off other social issues than just hunger. Children who attend school, the longer they attend school, are at a lower risk of HIV, AIDS and teenage pregnancy." The Lunchbox Fund was a good place to start aiding hungry children, but the people behind the organization wanted to do more. "We asked ourselves, 'how do we grow faster?'," Green said.

"We wasted time applying for grants and knocking on doors," she lamented. "We needed to be innovative; what we do is extremely necessary and urgent. It was a matter of how do we do what we know works now."

Enter Feedie, a mobile app inspired by those who share pictures of their food. The Lunchbox Fund was already feeding 5000 children a day, but their ultimate goal is to feed four million. Green asks, "Who wants to see a hungry child?".

To accomplish their lofty goal, the Lunchbox Fund hopes restaurants will add themselves to the Feedie network by making a once yearly $500 donation. Doing so will include the restaurant on the list of those supporting Feedie. Once on that list, customers will be able to take a picture of their meals there and use Feedie to share the image on their social media. Doing this removes 25 cents from that restaurant's donation. For a quarter, a meal is provided for a child in South Africa. "People are taking pictures of their food and sharing them anyway, now we've added an incentive," Green said.

The people behind Feedie and the Lunchbox Fund are trying to make a significant change in how hunger looks. "This is something everyone can relate to; everyone can be a part of something," Green said.

Feedie doesn't officially launch until October 19, but the reaction to it so far has been positive. "It's been really unbelievable," Green said. "People's imagination and compassion have been sparked." She extends a challenge to everyone, and asks that they get on board and take part in Feedie by either downloading the app or encouraging their favorite local restaurant to become part of the Feedie networks. "It's a win-win. They're taking pictures and feeding children."

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