The #GiveHealthy Movement is designed to solve a big problem.
Donating food to food drives is one of the most popular forms of giving in the US. More people donate food than watch the Super Bowl each year, a great display of the public’s interest in supporting one of our most pressing social issues – hunger.
However, traditional food drives are limited to canned food and other non-perishable donations, often highly processed, nutrient deficient food. The 42 Million+ people struggling with food insecurity also face high rates of diet related health issues – things like obesity, diabetes, cancer – due to a lack of access to healthy food. A lot of food that gets donated actually worsens these health conditions. What’s needed is healthy food.
The #GiveHealthy Movement is designed to heighten awareness that hunger is a health issue and to provide an easy way for groups to sponsor healthy food drives so that people can make healthy food donations – things like fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, dairy products and more.
It was conceived by a group of organizations working on healthy food access. Founding Partners include Wholesome Wave, WhyHunger, Foodtank, Ashley Koff Approved and Amp Your Good. The Movement has grown to include support from many of the key players focused on hunger relief such as Feeding America, No Kid Hungry and The Food Trust. It’s guided by an incredible Advisory Board well versed in the complex factors affecting hunger – including our food system, nutrition, health, food policy and food access.
It also relies upon Amp Your Good’s online food drive system, called Crowd-Feeding, that enables groups to run food drives so that people can easily donate healthy food. Instead of donating food by bringing canned goods to a collection box, people select food to donate from a curated list of healthy food items based upon data supplied by hunger organizations. Donors purchase these food items online via a standard e-commerce checkout process and the food is delivered directly to the hunger organization the donor wants to support.
The #GiveHealthy Movement had an exciting launch at the Broccoli City Festival in Washington, D.C. in May that engaged a wide variety of people and drew significant media attention, covered by both ABC and Fox News.
Since the May launch, the Movement has grown quickly. It’s currently focused on the upcoming “food drive” season. Food drives and food donations peak each year in October and November and the Movement is actively seeking groups to organize #GiveHealthy drives this Fall. Outreach to these groups happen in a number of ways, but one of the key ways is via hunger organizations themselves. Below is a case study that looks at what happens when a hunger organization starts suggesting to groups that support it with food drives to organize #GiveHealthy drives. In short, these groups raise more food and it all matches what the hunger organization is looking for. It turns out people really like donating healthy food!
Everyone working on hunger hopes to work themselves out of a job someday – when the day comes that no-one faces hunger. Until that day comes, however, providing people with healthy food is a smart thing to do. In the meantime, it’s great that so many people like to donate food to support those facing hunger. It’s such an elemental and universal way of giving. #GiveHealthy is designed to enable those people to donate the kind of food that will have the most positive impact – healthy food.
Those who are interested in joining the #GiveHealthy movement can visit www.givehealthy.org for more information and to sign up to participate.
Patrick O’Neill is the Founder and CEO of Amp Your Good (Amp Your Good is a Founding Partner of the #GiveHealthy Movement). After graduating from West Point and serving on active duty in the US Army, he began a private sector career spanning real estate, energy, technology and social enterprise. He has founded, co-founded and led several companies and has served on the board of directors of for profit, not for profit, public and private companies. His mission driven work began in his local church while growing up, continued at West Point, in the US Army, through his support of various non-profit organizations during his career and through youth sports coaching and mentoring. Amp Your Good combines Pat’s passion for disruptive technology, health and for making a difference in the lives of others. He is married and has four children – 2 boys and twin girls. He enjoys skiing, science fiction, youth sports and cooking.