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“GoDonate” Mobile Application

“GoDonate,” is a mobile application that allows anyone to donate their excess food to those presently unable to obtain proper meals.

Photo of Rahul K
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I am a.....

  • Student

Tell us about your idea

“GoDonate” was my way of allowing everyday people who are more than enthusiastic to help food insecure people to do so, right from their homes. One main problem that has affected the non-profit industry has been an absence of donations. Take food banks: they previously relied on numerous volunteers to prepare, serve, and distribute meals to often hundreds of people. Now, amid the Coronavirus, they need a new way to provide meals the people who relied on the services of these organizations. With “GoDonate,” whenever individuals have excess food items – such as after family events, lunches, or simply from over grocery shopping – they would be able to use my app to send a request to all nearby food banks, kitchens, and other non-profits that would, in turn, send volunteers to pickup the food items and deliver it to underserved families. Similar to Uber, except with food, my app has a system where individual donors who want to help out are directly connected to non-profits who need their help. The best part is that donors do not have to fear that they would be at risk for the Coronavirus. Volunteers come on the same day to pickup the donation, and individual donors only spend a maximum of two minutes to make a donation request from the comfort of their home.

But when I talk about this app, I want to emphasize that this is not just an idea from scratch – I already programmed the software, and implemented it on an app called “GoDonate,” which is currently available for both IPhone and Android users on the App and Google Play store, respectively. Four years ago, I founded and am currently running ShareandChange.org, a 501©(3) non-profit organization that fosters global blood donations. When I heard about the pandemic that was rapidly spreading across the world, I used the same programming and business skills that allowed me to make a mobile app to promote blood donations in order to develop and implement the “GoDonate” food donation app, which is built right into the original ShareandChange.org app and website. The best part is that after speaking to many of the fellow organizations that I partnered with for blood donations, such as the Stanford Blood Center and Vitas Hospice, many have agreed to support my new initiative amid this critical time. Not just that, but the frequent users and volunteers who were involved in my non-profit have also agreed to engage in my new initiative. This includes volunteers all around the globe, from San Fransisco to Sydney, and I am more than thrilled to begin integrated this mobile tool into the non-profit industry.

I strongly feel that food donations have always been a problem, but such an issue has largely been put forth into society’s eyes during this time. With many families unsure of where their next meal may be coming from, I know that using a tool we all possess – such as mobile phones and mobile technology – it is definitely possible to help these families. Not just help them get through the Coronavirus, though, but rather ensure that another situation does not disrupt an essential life need such as food ever again.

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

The school system’s free lunch program has been a wonderful outlet to provide hundreds of thousands of students the meals that they absolutely deserve. In that sense, it has been devastating to see students who once relied on the school system are now unable to get the nutrition they need. While I support the closing of schools to prevent the spread of the virus, I am opposed to relying on just one outlet to provide students their meals. If the Coronavirus has taught society anything, it is that we need a backup plan in situations such as the Coronavirus. We need multiple ways for students to access meals. This could be allowing other families to donate meals to school systems to feed students, allowing different districts to help each other when one of them is unable to provide for students, and more. We need to support school districts providing such an absolutely necessary service in any way we can to ensure that in times of crisis the people who they help continue to be helped

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

Admittedly, the reason I got into food donations was selfish. Much of my family lives in rural India, well known for widespread poverty. With jobs in jeopardy due to mass closings, rural Indians are suffering the most. With little money and resources being hours away, they are often left behind. My relatives themselves, living in rural South India, have to travel hours to get food, almost on a daily basis.

Upon hearing this, I put it into the country’s perspective. Nearly 70% of over 1 billion Indians live in rural areas, and most of them live in poverty. That means that my relatives are not alone – so many families nationwide are facing the same issue of food insecurity during this time.

It’s not just India, however. Many are left without services that they previously relied on for their well-being. Even in well-developed countries, namely the United States and the UK, the closing of several needed non-profit organizations has shown that a solution needs to be found – and fast.

What region are you located in?

  • North America

Where are you located?

I currently reside in the Bay Area. Specifically, I live in San Ramon, California, a suburban city that is very close to San Fransisco. I am very happy to be in a community where residents support each other during times like these. Such support has inspired me to show others the same kindness and provide the same help that my fellow neighbors continue to provide me every day.

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